Why You Should Be Doing HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training
Have you ever wondered how you could get more out of your workouts? A lot of the exercises you’re probably familiar with are steady state workouts, which means you’re using a consistent amount of effort throughout. Running on a treadmill or putting a few miles on an elliptical are a few common examples. However, there’s another type of workout you could be doing. High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, alternates between periods of intense activity and a short recovery period. At Nexersys, we’re firm believers of the benefits of HIIT, and work the style into all of our N3s and Cross Body Trainers. Here are a few reasons why:
HIIT Burns More Fat
There a few factors that contribute to HIIT burning more fat than steady state workouts. The most natural reason is that you’re putting more effort into less time. In a steady state exercise, you’re running 20 minutes straight at a consistent pace. But with HIIT, you’re pushing yourself to 100% of your effort for numerous short bursts until you’re unable to continue. Try it for yourself, and you’ll find HIIT takes more effort. Another big reason is called the ‘afterburn’ effect. Essentially, your metabolism stays elevated for hours after pushing yourself with HIIT, burning fat even when you’ve finished working out.
HIIT Takes Less Time
We touched on this in the previous section, but to put in plainly, HIIT takes less time to get similar or better results as steady state workouts. It may seem like cheating, but you can cram a 15-minute HIIT workout into your schedule and get the same benefits of a steady state workout at least twice as long. Just because you don’t have the time to head to the gym doesn’t mean you don’t have the time for a quick HIIT workout that will leave you feeling better and ready to take on the day.
HIIT is Exciting and Builds Confidence
A big reason people give up on their fitness resolutions is boredom – sitting on an elliptical for half an hour isn’t exactly exciting. Enter HIIT, which features varied exercises that pump up your adrenaline from the effort. You’ll mix in lunges, squats, burpees, and tons of other exercises that keep you on your toes (figuratively, not literally). The already-shorter time will fly by as you push yourself to your limits.
Where to be Careful with HIIT
While HIIT is ideal for pushing yourself to your limits, there are some instances when doing so isn’t ideal. A balanced fitness regimen contains both HIIT and steady state exercises, which bring different benefits. Here are a few things to watch out for in your new HIIT routines:
- While HIIT is great for burning fat and building muscle, steady state workouts are generally better for your heart and overall aerobic health.
- High Intensity Interval Training is appropriately intense. Exclusively doing HIIT can wear down your body without giving it proper time to recover. Mix in time for steady state workouts to give your body a break, and definitely don’t do HIIT workouts if you’re trying to recover from an injury.
- HIIT stimulates your nervous system more, almost putting your body into a fight-or-flight situation. While this can be great for pushing yourself to your limits, prolonged HIIT exclusivity can create these anxiety-like symptoms long after a workout is done. For relieving stress, it’s hard to beat traditional steady state exercises.