High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that involves short bursts of intense activity alternated with recovery periods. Over the past few years, it has gained immense popularity due to its effectiveness in achieving fitness goals. Studies conducted over time have shown that HIIT offers numerous benefits to both physical and mental health, which are backed by science.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
HIIT is an effective way to improve cardiovascular health. It involves brief, intense bursts of activity that keep your heart rate elevated. A 2018 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that HIIT increased maximal oxygen uptake, a measure of cardiovascular fitness, by an average of 4.2 ml/kg/min. Another study conducted in 2019 showed that HIIT improved endothelial function, which helps keep your blood flow in check.
Burns Fat and Builds Muscle
HIIT is a great way to burn fat and build muscle. With its intense bursts of activity, HIIT increases the levels of human growth hormones and testosterone in the body, which stimulate muscle growth. Additionally, by increasing the body’s demand for energy, HIIT helps burn more calories even after the exercise is completed. This phenomenon is known as the “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research, HIIT can help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The study showed that HIIT was effective in reducing HbA1c levels, which is a marker of blood sugar control, in people with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, HIIT improves insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for both people with and without diabetes.
Reduces Depression and Anxiety
Aside from physical health benefits, HIIT also has mental health benefits. HIIT has been shown to improve mood, reduce depression, and anxiety symptoms. As outlined in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, HIIT significantly reduced symptoms of depression by 22% and anxiety by 20% in people with major depressive disorders.
In conclusion, there are numerous science-backed benefits of HIIT. From improving cardiovascular health and burning fat to controlling blood sugar levels and reducing depression and anxiety symptoms, HIIT is an excellent way to achieve both physical and mental health goals. Adding HIIT to your routine, complemented with a healthy diet and rest, will improve your overall wellbeing.