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Seven Reasons To Engage In HIIT Workout

By Bunmi George, Contributor 14 August 2017   |   5:00 am

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and just in case you haven’t, HIIT combines short periods of intense exercise with short periods of rest. It is one of my favourite workouts because it gets the job done in half the time. On days where I have limited time to workout, HIIT is my go to.

For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout. It sounds too simple to be effective, but science doesn’t stretch the truth. Here are seven reasons to engage in HIIT:

1. It is super-efficient
HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your day or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event.
You can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than jogging on the treadmill for an hour. As delirious as this sounds, it is true. It is possible to engage in a 10-minute HIIT routine that burns more calories than a half hour on the treadmill.

2. Maximum fat burn
Not only do you burn more calories during a HIIT workout, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyper drive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after an HIIT workout than you do after a steady-paced run.

3. Fat loss, not muscle loss
Engaging in HIIT is such a win-win situation in this regard. Anyone who has ever been on a weight loss journey can attest to the fact that it’s hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. While steady state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow for the preservation of muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat.

4. Vamps up your metabolism
In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!

5. Targets belly fat
The way you store fat is determined by many factors – genetics and hormones being two big ones. And the type of exercise you do affects your hormone profile. Doing HIIT can create a metabolic environment that stimulates a higher proportional release of abdominal fat. You still lose fat all over, but a higher proportion comes off in the mid-section.

6. No equipment needed
Workouts such as biking, jump roping, and rowing all work great for HIIT, but you need equipment to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast. In fact, some equipment like dumbbells can make HIIT less effective because you want the focus to be on pushing your heart to its max, not your biceps.

7. Boosts favourable hormones
Mitochondria are little cell powerhouses that produce energy. In simple terms, they take the fat and carbohydrates you either eat or store and convert them to usable energy. The more mitochondria you have, the more efficiently your body utilises the calories you consume.

The number of mitochondria you have can be increased by creating a demand for more energy production. In fact, HIIT is a potent stimulus for the creation of new mitochondria.

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