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What is HIIT and Its Benefits

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is an activity that involves short bursts of extreme training and brief resting intervals. The all-round activity enables one to boost their cardiovascular activity, digestive processes, and reduce body fat. This drill enhances endurance and maximum gain.

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A study from Australia examined the effects of 20 minutes of HIIT on mitochondrial function in overweight and obese men and found that it stimulated mitochondrial function to the same degree as 1 hour of continuous aerobic activity. Another study from Japan discovered that 10 minutes of HIIT increased insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes more than 30 minutes of continuous aerobic activity did. Just 10 minutes of this type of activity generates more results compared to other exercises.

But what is HIIT? And how exactly does one perform it?

HIIT exercise is performed at an intensity just below your anaerobic threshold. The anaerobic threshold refers to the level where there is lactic acid buildup in the muscles. If you continue exercising any harder than this, lactic acid will soon accumulate faster than it can be removed, and fatigue will set in. Therefore, the anaerobic threshold is the maximum pace that allows you to train with minimal lactate accumulation. And since we're training as hard as possible - but only for short periods of time - HIIT burns fat and improves cardiovascular health more effectively than longer but less intense sessions.

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HIIT is simple. You need a timer, a stopwatch, or even an old-fashioned kitchen timer (the ones with the red second hand) will do the trick. Perform thirty-second bouts of exercise at your maximum pace, followed by sixty seconds of passive rest. That's it. The passive rest period is just that: rest. Don't try to squeeze extra exercise in while you're resting - just let your body recover naturally between sets.

What should I do?

HIIT isn't just easy to perform - it's also incredibly versatile. You can perform any exercise you like at the maximum intensity for 30 seconds, so long as you allow yourself 60 seconds of rest between bouts.

You could run in place for 30 seconds, followed by a minute of rest. Or you could jump rope as fast as possible for 30 seconds, followed by a minute of rest. And, if you're strapped for time and need to get in a quick workout during your lunch break, this is a great strategy to use. To maximize fat loss while minimizing time spent training, I recommend doing three HIIT sessions per week, each consisting of 5 rounds lasting 30 seconds each with 90-second rests between rounds. Let the body rest in between the activities. Do not struggle to achieve results in the fastest time. The body works within its capacity to restore the optimal functioning.

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10 minutes? That's right. Just 10 minutes of HIIT is all you need to get in a great workout. And if you do this on three separate days per week, you'll be burning fat and improving your cardiovascular system simultaneously. This is especially useful if you're traveling or away from home a lot and don't have access to a gym. High intensity interval training is a type of cardiovascular training that alternates between periods of intense anaerobic exercise with brief periods of rest or low intensity aerobic activity. It is known to be particularly effective for fat burning and weight loss, in addition to its other benefits. HIIT has been proven more efficient than continuous moderate cardio. I will discuss the benefits of HIIT as well as what you need to know about using this regimen so it can be most beneficial for your health and fitness goals.

Benefits of HIIT

  • Burns more fat

HIIT is different from moderate cardio in that it is much more effective for burning fat. In HIIT, the body experiences a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles because of the high intensity exercise. This buildup of lactic acid causes a buildup of hydrogen ions in your body, which increases your body's natural metabolic rate and thus increases fat burning. This higher intensity exercise also causes muscle to be broken down at a faster rate than with moderate cardio, causing more calories and fat to be burned even at rest.

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As explained by Lyle McDonald on his website, “You're mobilizing free fatty acids from adipose tissue (bodyfat) as fuel for exercise. During high intensity workouts, more fat is mobilized from adipose tissue when you exercise at a higher intensity. HIIT has a great cardio benefit, but the heightened metabolic demand during exercise causes greater body fat loss than with moderate-intensity exercise.”

  • Huge amounts of calories burned

HIIT burns more total calories than regular cardio. Such a case occurs because of the difference in caloric expenditure at rest as well as more calories being burned with HIIT.

  • Better Fitness

The rise in heart rate levels during HIIT causes improvements in VO2 max and anaerobic threshold. These are both key measurements of fitness level. HIIT also gives faster improvements in the areas than slow cardio exercise.

  • Faster Results

Because HIIT burns more fat which can be used for energy during exercise, you burn more calories even during non-exercise activities as well. This will make you lose fat faster than if you only did regular cardio.


With HIIT, you can burn fat, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular fitness with just a fraction of the time it takes to work out at a steady pace. It also extends lifespan, lowers the risk for diabetes, and decreases mortality rates. This type of exercise is good for one’s health and fitness. Remember, it works to your benefit. So, develop a program during any time of day to guide your exercising. Just 10 minutes - you do not need a lot of time. In the end, you will see the changes and acknowledge the improved health status.

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