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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, especially for those with a busy schedule. Finding time for regular exercise can seem impossible when there is so much to do in a day. Fortunately, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) offers an effective solution for people with a tight schedule.
HIIT is a form of intense exercise that alternates short bursts of vigorous exercise with rest periods. This type of workout provides numerous benefits that make it an ideal choice for people who want to maintain their fitness level despite their busy schedules.
In this blog, we will explore the benefits of HIIT workouts or high-intensity interval training and why it is an excellent exercise routine for busy individuals.
What is a HIIT Workout Good For?
High-intensity interval training provides the same health benefits as moderate-intensity continuous training but in less time. This means that people with busy schedules can still get in a quality workout in a shorter amount of time. HIIT programs are typically 20-30 minutes long, and they burn calories more than steady-state cardio workouts.
Studies show that a body burns more calories with HIIT than with aerobic exercise, moderate-intensity exercise, and even weight training. This is because the intense workout increases the body’s metabolism, causing it to continue burning calories even after the workout is over.
Moreover, HIIT stimulates muscle growth and improves muscle mass, making it an effective exercise for building muscle. Additionally, it is shown to improve oxygen consumption much like endurance training, reduce high blood pressure, and lower blood sugar. HIIT also helps to improve mental health, which is critical for people with busy schedules who may experience high levels of stress.
What are 5 Major Health Benefits of HIIT Workouts?
Let’s take a closer look at why HIIT is becoming more and more popular among fitness enthusiasts.
Helps With Calorie Burn
One of the main benefits of HIIT is that it burns more calories than moderate endurance-intensity exercise due to its high-intensity intervals. The rest periods in HIIT allow the body to recover before moving on to the next exercise, making it possible to sustain a high level of intensity throughout the entire workout.
This intense exercise alternated with periods of rest increases the body’s metabolic rate, pushing yourself to your maximum effort during the intense periods and causing it to burn more calories during and after the workout.
Studies show that HIIT burns more calories than steady-state cardio, making it an ideal exercise for people who want to reduce weight or lose fat. In fact, studies have also shown that the calories burned by HIIT amount to 30% more than other forms of exercise.
Improves Heart Health
HIIT provides numerous benefits for the heart. An intense workout improves blood flow and reduces high blood pressure, which is essential for people with hypertension.
The rest period in HIIT also allows the heart to recover, making it possible to sustain a high level of intensity throughout the entire HIIT workout. This results in improved aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacity, which is critical for heart health. It enhances your body’s ability to consume oxygen and thus leads to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Boosts Metabolic Health
Among the popular benefits of high-intensity interval training pertains to weight loss and body fat reduction. One study found that overweight young males who participated in a HIIT program lost more body fat than those who participated in a moderate-intensity continuous training program.
It stimulates muscle growth and improves muscle mass, which is essential for people who want to lose weight or reduce body fat. HIIT also improves the body’s oxygen consumption, which helps improve endurance and reduces high blood pressure.
Studies on health and exercise sciences show that HIIT can regulate blood sugar and metabolic health, making it an ideal exercise for people with metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. And, because HIIT stimulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH), it can also help with building muscle fibers and improving your body’s metabolism.
Enhances Mental Health
But HIIT is not just for physical health – it is also beneficial for improving mental health. HIIT workouts have been shown to increase the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. This can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and even mental illnesses, making it an ideal exercise for people with busy schedules who may experience high levels of stress.
It can also improve cognitive function and memory. Additionally, HIIT workouts can be performed alone or in a HIIT group, making it an excellent choice for people who prefer to work out with others.
Increases Bone Density
Bone density refers to the amount of mineral content in your bones, which helps to determine bone strength and resistance to fractures. As you age, your bones may lose density, which increases the risk of developing conditions like osteoporosis, which is characterized by weak and brittle bones.
Resistance training has been recommended as a means of improving bone density, but studies have shown that HIIT can also be an effective way to promote bone health. During high-intensity exercises, like those done in HIIT workouts, the body is put under stress, causing it to adapt by producing new bone tissue.
This is because the body responds to stress by increasing bone density, making it stronger and more resistant to fractures.
What are Some HIIT Workouts For Busy Persons to Try?
Here are some HIIT workouts for a person with a busy schedule:
This is a simple but effective HIIT workout that can be done anywhere. It involves performing a series of bodyweight workouts such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and burpees for a set amount of time with a short period of rest in between.
This is a great way to incorporate HIIT into a cardio workout. Find a hill or a track and sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 10-20 minutes.
Jump Rope Intervals
This is a simple but challenging HIIT workout that can be done with just a jump rope. Jump as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 10-20 minutes.
This is a full-body exercise that can be done with a kettlebell. Perform 30 seconds of kettlebell swings followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat for 10-20 minutes.
Stationary Bike Exercise
There is no set way to perform HIIT cycling workouts. Instead, to complete a session of HIIT on an indoor bike, all you need to do is cycle quickly and vigorously while pausing frequently.
How Can You Effectively Set HIIT Training Into Your Busy Schedule?
One of the biggest challenges of incorporating HIIT workouts into a busy schedule is finding the time to do them. However, there are ways to effectively set HIIT workouts into your schedule without sacrificing other important tasks.
One way to do this is to break up your workout into smaller, more manageable chunks. For example, you could do 10 minutes of HIIT in the morning before work, another 10 minutes during your lunch break, and a final 10 minutes in the evening. This way, you’re still getting a full 30-minute workout in, but you’re breaking it up into smaller, more manageable pieces.
How Do You Make the Most of Your HIIT Training?
If you are interested in incorporating HIIT into your physical activity, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it is important to start slowly and build up gradually. HIIT is intense, so you don’t want to push yourself too hard too fast and risk injury.
Second, it is important to incorporate rest days into your HIIT sessions to give your body time to recover.
Finally, it may be beneficial to work with a certified personal trainer who can guide you through the proper form and technique.
How Many Days a Week Should You Do High Intensity Interval Training?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your fitness level, your goals, and your overall health.
For most people, the recommended physical activity is 2-3 times per week. This is because HIIT exercises are intense and can be hard on your body, so it’s important to give your body time to recover between workouts.
However, if you’re new to HIIT training, it’s important to start slowly and gradually build up your intensity and frequency. You can conduct high-intensity training for the long haul if you do this to prevent injuries.
What Happens If You Do HIIT Every Day?
While HIIT workouts can be a great way to improve your fitness and health, it’s important to be careful not to overdo them. Doing HIIT workouts every day can actually be counterproductive and lead to injury and burnout.
When you do HIIT workouts, your body needs time to recover and repair itself. If you’re doing HIIT workouts every day, your body doesn’t have enough time to recover, which can lead to muscle fatigue, joint pain, and even injury.
Instead, it’s recommended to do HIIT workouts 2-3 times per week, with rest days in between. This will give your body the time it needs to recover and repair itself, ensuring that you’re able to continue doing HIIT workouts for the long term.
There are many benefits to incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your exercise routine. From improving your cardiovascular health and burning more calories to regulating blood sugar and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, HIIT offers a range of physical and mental health benefits.
Just remember to start slowly, make time for rest, and work with a certified personal trainer if necessary. With dedication and consistency, HIIT can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health and well-being.