With every study conducted, more and more benefits of interval training are being discovered, and for more segments of the population. The first known implemented routine involving interval training, also known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT, was developed by Paavo Nurmi in 1910 when he was training for his appearance in the Olympics. Interval training has sure come a long way since then and it has also grown in popularity. But why? With so many benefits, it is no wonder, but just what is HIIT and what are those benefits? Let’s take a look!
What is Interval Training?
Interval training involves short bursts, or intervals, of very intense exercise that are separated by longer stretches of exercise that are less intense. During those short bursts, you want to push yourself as hard as possible, getting your heart rate going, and these bursts should only last between 30 seconds and 1 minute. The longer intervals that separate those intense ones should be between 2 and 3 minutes and while you are still exercising, you want your heart rate to slow down a bit.
During interval training, you want to push your body to the point of exhaustion. You will be out of breath and you will need to cool down slowly to keep from stressing your body. Interval training can be done with many types of exercising, from cycling or running, or even swimming. Any exercise that allows you to push your body with intense exercise will work well. But why high-intensity interval training?
Benefits of Interval Training
While there are other types of exercise that work better for certain things, such as losing weight when obese, the there are many benefits of HIIT and that is what makes it so popular. In fact, it is becoming popular with just about every age group as well as many other different demographic groups. But what kind of benefits can you see from interval training?
- Improved cardiovascular health: During a workout of just 20 minutes, 3 times a week, most people can see improved circulation. This has been determined by several studies that have found the most improvement in those aged 18 to 45 years old, but there were also improvements seen in adolescents.
- Better managed insulin levels: For those with high blood sugar, especially even when fasting, interval training can help to reduce these levels. While exercise should always be approved and monitored by a doctor for those with insulin resistance, HIIT can be one of the better types of exercise.
- Loss of subcutaneous fat: It has been found that with relatively few sessions of short HIIT routines over a couple of weeks can result in loss of this type of fat. Subcutaneous fat can be the hardest to lose, especially in women, and women saw the best results.
- Improved cognitive function: Interval training isn’t just for adults. In fact, when interval training for children was studied, it was found that they could experience better memory recall as well as better “brain power” overall.
Not only can you see these physical effects of participating in high-intensity interval training, but because you can get the same, or better, positive effects during a shorter workout, it helps many people who may not have the time to fit a longer workout into their busy schedules.
It has also been found through recent studies that interval training can also benefit older adults. HIIT, when done regularly, can boost longevity, and it does it on a cellular level. When those aged 65 to 80 are active through interval training, it forces cells to produce more new proteins. These proteins help muscle cells function more effectively. Usually, muscles don’t function as well as we age, which can lead to declining health due to weaker muscles, including the heart which is also a muscle working to pump vital nutrients throughout the body.
Even simple things like participating in an interval training class can help older adults by allowing them to participate in a group fitness class with other people. Meeting new people, communicating, and socializing helping them to boost mood through exercise on top of it.
It isn’t just about exercise when trying to live a healthier life. When incorporating nutrition into your healthy lifestyle, you can see even more benefits. You can see healthy weight loss over time as well as building leaner muscle. You may even see a boost in your mood and more energy for your interval training. If you don’t have experience building a meal plan, you might want to set up a meeting with a nutrition coach.
A nutrition coach can teach you how best to work the right foods into your diet in the right ways so you get the most out of your meal plan. They can also explain how your meal plan working into your new interval training routine. Nutrition isn’t just for adults, it isn’t just for older adults who also see benefits of interval training either. You can also set up a meal plan for children just like you can get them involved in interval training.
Is Interval Training Right for You?
If you want to fit an exercise routine into a busy schedule and you want to see many benefits in a relatively short amount of time, interval training is most likely the type of exercise you are looking for. Combining interval training with a good nutrition plan can help everyone from children who need to boost mood and work off extra energy to older adults looking to increase longevity and see multiple health benefits overall. There’s a reason why HIIT has become popular in recent years and you might want to experience it yourself.
Are you interested in starting a new fitness routine? Are you interested in interval training combined with a healthy nutrition plan? Do you have questions about it? Post your questions or comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Proudly serving the Katy, Fulshear and Richmond Texas area, Beat Strong Fitness and Nutrition offers nutrition and group interval training classes based on high intensity interval training, or HIIT.