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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

8 Promising Benefits of HIIT Workout That Will Make You Want To Start Right Now!

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8 Promising Benefits of HIIT Workout That Will Make You Want To Start Right Now!

We all know the great importance of exercise, and sure, each of us, in our own way try to do as much as we can. Yet, this can be incredibly difficult. If you work full time, or are generally very busy, getting the gym hours in that we feel is necessary can feel like an impossible task.

Even if you want to go for a run, you might think that you would need to run for at least an hour to make any real change. We might feel resigned to our current state or shape, one seemingly enforced by our schedule.

This might well be the case, however thanks to the exercise system HIIT (high intensity interval training) you can get a fantastic workout in very little time.

As its name suggests, HIIT relies on short bouts of high intensity exercise, broken up by moments of rest and recovery. The exercise sequences are repeated for about 20-30 minutes.[1]

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HIIT isn’t just useful for those short of time, HIIT workouts are one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise that you can do, something supported by significant research.[2]

In addition there are a great, and surprising range of other benefits which show that high intensity interval training is the way to go for those on the clock.

8 Amazing Benefits of HIIT- From Head to Toe, from Physical to Mental!

    Burn Fat Even When You Stop Training

    One of the most popular reasons people choose HIIT is that, through the training, you burn fat even when your training has stopped.

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    This is due to Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), after a HIIT workout your oxygen consumption is increased in such a way that you burn fat 9x faster. In addition, thanks to the way HIIT workouts boost your metabolism, you can burn up to 50% more fat than a regular steady-state cardio workout, even though steady-state workouts are maintained for much longer periods of time.[3]

    Build More Muscle and Maintain Muscle Mass Better!

    At the same time HIIT workouts stimulate the burning and using up of fat and calories, HIIT workouts also produce muscle building anabolic hormones. As such it can be a very effective way of developing lean muscle.

    Surprisingly, HIIT workouts are actually better at building and maintaining muscle mass, while losing fat than regular sustained steady-state workouts as prolonged exercise can result in muscle being burned up and used by the body as fuel.[4]

    It Helps Improve Your Blood Circulations and Fight Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

    Studies have shown that intense, interval based training forms, like HIIT help blood flow and blood vessel dilation.[5] The effects were particularly notable with those suffering with type 2 diabetes, where blood flow improvements were noticed within an our or two of exercising. Researchers have noticed that those who do HIIT workouts have better managed glucose levels than both those that do not, and even those who exercise with normal steady-state workouts.

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    Just Jump and sprint! You Don’t Need Any Equipment!

    When you go into a gym for the first time, the first thing you notice is all the strange machines and devices. Some are so complicated that you need to be trained on how to use. Almost all are so expensive that that it is impossible to do the same workouts when at home or away from the gym. A great number of workouts are built around some of these machines.

    Though some HIIT routines do use things like treadmills, most HIIT workouts rely only on the body alone. Some of the most popular HIIT workouts are simple jumping jacks and sprints. So, unlike the gym, all you need is a little bit of space.

    Strengthen your cardiovascular activity and boost your endurance

    By pushing your heart rate and oxygen consumption during HIIT workouts. You’ll both strengthen and improve your heart and cardiovascular activity and oxygen intake. Specifically, you will increase your body’s VO2 Max, which is the amount of oxygen a person can use per kg of body weight. As such your overall stamina and ability to workout. Over time you will notice that you will need less and less recovery time.

    It Helps Prevent aging and You Will Live Longer!

    Resent research by the Mayo Clinic has suggested that HIIT workouts can reverse signs of cellular aging.[6] This occurs through improving the body’s production and synthesis of proteins which in turn can help fight signs of aging. In addition, HIIT workouts have been shown to combat muscle degradation in age.

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    Ease the difficulties and strains of Parkinson’s!

    Researchers in the University of Alabama have released a study suggesting that HIIT can improve the motor functions, quality of life, and mood of Parkinson’s sufferers.[7] This could be revolutionary if researched further, as Parkinsons as a condition specifically attacks the motor functions of the human body. The researchers saw improvements in patients muscle control, balance, and sense of well being compared to Parkinson’s suffers of similar ages who had not undertaken high intensity training.

    You Constantly Push Yourself and You Expand Your Limits Eventually!

    For many, this might be a turn off. However I have often felt that there is a strange, but genuine pleasure in pushing yourself physically and coming out the other side. As you’d imagine high intensity training, is…well…intense. Each time you exercise with an HIIT workout, you are pushing yourself to your physical limit, however, of course, for only a few moments at a time. Because of this your workouts are never dull and you will see real improvements in your health, and stamina in very little time.

    Don’t forget to do it step by step

    As with any change in your exercise regime, its important to consult your doctor and hear their opinion. This is especially important if you’ve never done any high intensity training before.

    Reference

    More by this author

    Arthur Peirce

    Lifestyle Writer

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    Last Updated on October 4, 2021

    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

    With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

    Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

    Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

    We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

    • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
    • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
    • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
    • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
    • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
    • Total: 20 to 22 hours

    Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

    Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

    • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
    • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
    • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

    Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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    Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

    No equipment? No problem.

    So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

    Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

    Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

    1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

    Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

    Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

    • Quadruped Rocks
    • Frog Stretch
    • Hip Prying
    • Scapula Push-ups
    • Hindu push-ups

    Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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    2. Yoga

    Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

    3. Calisthenics

    Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

    You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

    Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

    4. Aerobic Exercise

    Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

    Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

    Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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    5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

    High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

    Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

    Chipper 60

    Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

    If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

    What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

    Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

    Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

    Sleep

    Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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    “Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

    Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

    Stress

    We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

    Stimulants

    Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

    Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

    Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
    [2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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