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Benefits of HIIT workouts for weight loss and cardiovascular health

During a HIIT session, your heart rate is at its optimal BPM level for a longer time compared to other forms of physical activities." - John M.

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

HIIT workouts improve cardiovascular health by increasing the BPM and levels of oxygen absorption in the body. High-intensity training workouts engage the heart to a fast-pumping action of blood resulting in cardiovascular fitness. When performing a HIIT workout, the blood vessels vasodilate, which significantly lowers blood pressure and optimizes your blood controls thus reducing heart health risks.

HIIT workouts stimulate lipolysis due to the shifts between the aerobic and anaerobic sessions.

During the anaerobic cycle, the body uses glucose available in the blood system. Upon depletion, the body breaks down fat, resulting effective fat loss. The growth of muscles promotes more calorie burning sessions. HIIT workout is a great way to get a full workout in just a short period of time (about 15 minutes or less). It releases endorphins that make you feel good - even euphoric. If you're looking for a way to lose weight in a short period of time, it would be imperative to include HIIT training in your workout routine.

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Below are some of the benefits that come with HIIT workouts:

  • You can get the same results as running miles but in much less time

  • You can burn a lot of calories

  • You can lose at least two times the amount of fat as your body weight

  • Most people find it easier to get into shape when they are out of shape

  • You can get in shape/shape up in just a few weeks

  • It's a good form of cardio since you spend 75 percent of the time working hard and the rest of the time recovering

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You don't need any equipment for HIIT workouts. You can do a workout in your basement using an exercise ball, or in your living room using your bodyweight. The 10-minute workout below involves simple body weight movements that include jumping jacks, pushups, squats, and lunges.


Here's an example of a HIIT workout:

  • Warm up with 1-minute easy jog/walk, followed by some dynamic stretches, i.e., leg swings, arm circles and shoulder rolls.

  • Sprint for about 30 seconds, then walk or jog slowly for about 90 seconds. Do this 6 times. Rest 2 minutes between each interval (1 minute to recover from your sprint and 1 minute to cool down).

  • Try to increase the length of your intervals each session until you reach the recommended total of 15 minutes per session. You should also be aiming to add an extra sprint and/or walk each session.

  • Repeat your 15 minutes sessions at least 3 times a week for best results. Don't forget to warm up and cool down with some light exercise such as jogging, walking or cycling.

  • After you are comfortable with the above routine you can increase the intensity by adding weights during your sprint intervals (which will make it more of a strength building workout).

Photo by Benjamin Klaver on Unsplash

During a HIIT session, your heart rate is at its optimal BPM level for a longer time than other forms of physical activities. HIIT has beneficial effects for the heart and cardiovascular system when compared to long duration steady state (or endurance) exercise because the shorter duration high-intensity activity provides a greater stimulus for fat loss and improved insulin sensitivity than longer duration activities. HIIT can also be more effective than steady state training in increasing aerobic capacity, although the intensity must be carefully controlled to prevent injury.

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A 2013 meta-analysis of HIIT studies revealed that both moderate and high-intensity training resulted in larger effects on VO2max than lower intensity exercise, but that the largest effect was found following high-intensity interval training. HIIT causes large amounts of lactic acid to be produced; so, it is important to have this consideration even as you focusing on the training session.

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