Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training

Looking for the right exercise, one that fits your busy schedule and does not require you to step out of your home? Well, GharPar is here to save the day. Introducing GharPar FIT HIIT workout. Let’s find out what this exercise is all about. Read on folks!

What is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training, better known as HIIT, is a famous type of exercise globally. Since its inception, it has been the buzzword of the fitness world. It has topped the trends for an impressive five years since coming in at number one in the American College of Sports Medicine Fitness Trends in 2014. HIIT workout has consistently ranked in the top three of the annual Worldwide Fitness Survey of Fitness Trends.

HIIT is designed to offer you the maximum benefits in the shortest span of time. You gain more in less. The session comprises bursts of intense workouts followed by short and low-intensity recovery periods. This generally entails a mix of aerobic and resistance training. You might be wondering about your heart rate. It entails reaching 80% of your heart rate for about one to five minutes and then cools down to alternate with periods of rest.

However, if you’re still on the fence about whether to incorporate HIIT workouts into your schedule, let the advantages of high-intensity interval training speak for themselves.

Reasons to choose HIIT?

The benefits of HIIT are scientifically-proven to improve your health and fitness. Let us walk you through the reasons why you need to include HIIT in your exercise routine.

Build your Endurance:

Did you know your body’s V02 max is a measure of endurance? V02 is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use up and is a major determinant of your overall wellbeing. A plethora of studies have concluded HIIT training results in a significant improvement in V02 max relative to other types of exercises in a much shorter time frame. The great news is, you do not only improve your oxygen consumption with HIIT, but you can do it in half the time of traditional forms of endurance training.

Increase your Metabolism:

We all aim to burn calories after exercising, don’t we? HIIT is formulized to cater to this need of yours by keeping your metabolic rate raised after you’ve finished your session. Many research studies reveal that HIIT keeps the metabolic rate high for hours after exercise. Due to the sheer intensity of HIIT workout, your body can burn additional calories as you get on with your day. Another interesting finding highlights HIIT increases your post workout metabolism more than weight training, running or jogging. It also increases the fat burning effect by using fat instead of carbs as energy fuel. HIIT stimulates the production of growth hormones. Finally, it is shown to slow down the aging process. We can say it’s a win-win!

Lower your blood pressure and heart rate:

This sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? Yes, in the short run, HIIT increases your blood pressure. However, in the long run, you begin to notice a decrease in your blood pressure. A huge body of research validates this claim. How is does it is by reducing the stiffness of the artery walls. Yes exerting yourself to a high intensity can make it difficult to push yourself, that is why the rest periods help cool you down. In this way, it even lowers your resting heart rate, meaning better heart health and fewer chances of developing a heart condition.

Lose your fat and not muscles:

The main reason why a lot of people choose to do HIIT over other forms of exercise is because of its fat-burning and muscle building effects. When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be challenging to lose fat without your muscles taking a cut as well.

It appears that steady-state cardio encourages muscle loss, whereas HIIT and weight training preserve muscle while ensuring maximum weight loss. The best part, you do not even have to make changes to your diet at all. Studies show a 17% reduction in visceral fat, which is a disease-promoting fat.

Flexible and Convenient- No equipment needed:

HIIT sounds quite daunting, especially to beginners. Don’t worry, one of the advantages of HIIT is it can be tailored to fit your abilities and requirements. A mere change in time intervals and intensity of exercise, it can be easily approachable for all level of fitness. All you need to monitor is your heart rate and you are good to go.

Finally, the benefits of HIIT also include little to no use of equipment, hence, can be done anytime anywhere!

If you desire to reap all the benefits of HIIT, know your meal and water intake. Giving your body the essential nutrients well before and after HIIT sessions can help you get the most out of your training.

Pre HIIT session:

Before you work out, it’s important to fuel up your tank so you can perform at your best. If you don’t eat before HIIT, you may feel sluggish and lightheaded. Pre-workout nutrition should focus mostly on carbohydrates with some protein. Carbs are the main source of quick-burning energy that helps power your muscles. Protein can help prime your muscles for intense exercise.

Ideally plan to eat about one to three hours before HIIT. Some options include:

  • Banana or apple with almond butter
  • Peanut butter on whole wheat toast
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt topped with berries

Post HIIT workout:

Carbs are essential after a HIIT session too. Our bodies can store some of the carbohydrates we eat in the liver and muscles as glycogen. But during intense activity, most of these glycogen or energy reserves deplete. Intense exercise also breaks down muscle tissue which necessitates the consumption of protein after a workout to help repair and rebuild damaged muscles.

For the best results, it is recommended to eat mostly carbs with protein after your HIIT session. Aim for a 3-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. This combination gives the muscles exactly what they need to heal, which may improve performance in your next workout. Give these a try:

  • Turkey on whole grain bread with sliced tomatoes
  • One cup of low-fat chocolate milk
  • Hummus with sliced veggies and pita bread

When it comes to recovery, when you eat seems to be just as vital as what you eat. The sooner you eat after a workout the better for muscle recovery. Strive to eat within 15 to 20 minutes of finishing a HIIT session.

Watch your Water intake!

Please bear in mind, good hydration is a must for HIIT. You must consume sufficient fluids before, during and after workouts. It is advised to use electrolytes balancing drink if you’re active for an hour or more, use a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes. As potassium and sodium, are lost through sweat during exercise.

As for energizing for workouts, everyone is different. Your nutrient needs depend on the duration and intensity of your HIIT sessions. You’ll require more calories for a 90-minute workout than a 20-minute workout, for instance. You may feel better by munching on a small snack an hour before HIIT, while others may need a meal. Experiment with eating and note how you feel. Making nutrition a priority can help you perform and feel your best in HIIT workouts.

Filed under: Tips and Myths

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