HEALTH BENEFITS OF HIIT
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) boosts metabolism and slows down aging more effectively than any other form of exercise because it forces the body into an extreme anaerobic state in which stored sugar (glycogen) is being burned much more effectively. HIIT puts the body into a state of oxygen-need, making sugar (stored in the form of glycogen) the primary form of fuel to be burned. The good thing is that as a result of a HIIT exercise the body’s changed preference of burning glycogen can last anywhere from one to three full days! (>, >)
HIIT also helps regulate hormons because the increased oxygen need and higher lactic acid lvels (as a byproduct of anaerobic exercise) stimulates the pituitary gland to release human growth hormone (HGH) (>) the key anti-aging hormone which helps build muscle & bones, burn fat, and stimulate immune system (>). It also supports joint function by repairing cartilage, ligaments, & tendons, helps prevent and reduce wrinkles by supporting the dermis and the formation of new skin.
HIIT enhances levels of testosterone (>) which is very important because with age both men and women loose this hormone. Optimizing testosterone levels is critical for mood, brain function (cognition), stamina, muscle function, libido, & cancer prevention.
If you are healthy and want to burn fat and lose weight more effectively and faster you can also use the HIIT which is recently becoming more and more popular and regarded as very effective. This type of exercise stimulate our body to keep on burning fat for a very long time after we stop exercising. During HIIT, which is a short but very intense workout, we are not able to provide our body with sufficient amount of oxygen. As a result our body keeps on stimulating metabolism for many hours after the workout. Researchers maintain that HIIT results in excellent health benefits that include improved metabolism and fat burning, or increased insulin sensitivity that is more effective than the results of a conventional continuous exercise.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) (also known as High Intensity Surge Training) is the best form of exercise to reverse diabetes. Due to the high intensity, it utilizes all the stored sugar in the liver & muscles during the exercise. In response, the muscle and liver cells take-on an insulin-like effect and significantly increase their ability to absorb glucose from the blood.
In addition, this type of training enhances growth hormone secretion (HGH) through the period of one to three days enabling the body to burn more fat (key cause of insulin ressistance) for energy (>) and also enhancing body’s ability to regenerate the damaged pancreas (especially in type 1 diabetes) and insulin receptors on the cell wall making them more responsive to insulin and reducing insulin ressistance.
HOW TO EXERCISE
HIIT is a type of exercise which alternates periods of short intense anaerobic workouts with short rest intervals (less-intense recovery periods).
The whole workout should always start with few minutes of worming up followed by a short (1-4 minutes) very intense exercise such as jumping, fast running, walking upstairs or uphill, push-ups, etc. interrupted with short periods of rest (medium intensity exercise) which should be two times shorter than intense exercise.
Although there are many types of HIIT, for the beginners the intensive periods of exercise should last at least 30 seconds, followed by 1 minute of rest (light exercise) and repeating the cycle for 10-20 minutes. After certain time intensive periods can be gradually prolonge to up to 4 minutes.
HIIT must be always finished with a period of cool down exercise.
The entire workout is supposed to last around 20 minutes, but even 5-10 minute effort would be very beneficial in case you can’t or don’t want to spend more time.
It is recommended to start HIIT with moderate exercise such as fast walking, jogging, etc. and day after day increase its intensity. For instance, you can start with a very fast walking for 30 seconds alternated with 1 minute of regular walking. After a week or so you may start alternating jogging and walking, and finally after a month you can try short sprints with fast walking, etc.
You can do HIIT at home too alternating 30-60 seconds of very intensive exercise with 15-30 seconds of moderate one. Specialists suggest that even if HIIT lasts only 4 minutes a day it will still be very beneficial. They also advise that because regular 20-30 minute HIIT workout is very intense, we should only do it not more than three to four times a week.
If you decide to give HIIT a try please read also my article about EXERCISE >
Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
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