It isn’t surprising that staying healthy is essential for each living being. While animals are healthy just because of how they act, we tend to exhaust our precious thoughts on figuring out the perfect workout. In today’s world, there are endless workout plans that guarantee results. Moreover, the fact that a majority of people love to watch videos of these workouts instead of exercising doesn’t help either. Among all forms of workouts, High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT has been attracting a lot of attention lately, and here are some interesting facts about it:
1. What is HIIT?
The High-Intensity Interval Workout is a form of exercise plan in which the primary goal is to exhaust the maximum amount of reserved energy in a short duration, efficiency is the name of the game here. It is a form of circuit training, i.e., different exercises are performed in quick successions intensely, and once all the exercises are performed, they are repeated for a set duration. Additionally, this workout plan relates more to anaerobic training than say strength training or stretching.
2. Wrong General Idea
With access to fast internet, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a majority of people are stating their opinion online and defining what exactly is HIIT. Because of such misinformation, people believe the duration of exercise should be longer than the resting period. In reality, the resting approach in HIIT is quite opposite, with a rest-to-exercise ratio of 2:1 or 3:1, meaning 40 seconds of rest after 20 seconds of exercise. Still, it doesn’t stop trainers from coming up with different variations of HIIT.
3. Great for Heart
While any workout is good for your cardiovascular health, HIIT is particularly beneficial because it causes the heart to pump blood quickly during the workout. This results in a better quality of resting blood pressure. Unsurprisingly, it enhances stamina at the same time. According to a 2006 study, people that did HIIT for eight weeks were able to travel twice as long on their bicycles than before.
4. Increases VO2 Max
HIIT is known to increase VO2 max, and it simply means the maximum amount of oxygen in volumes used by the body during workouts. To calculate the VO2 max, the maximum heart rate is divided by the resting heart rate, then multiplied by 15.3, and the higher the VO2 max, the healthier a person is. It is typically measured as ml of oxygen per kg of body weight per minute.
5. Burns Fat
For people that struggle to burn fat and lose weight, HIIT is an ideal workout for them. Unlike other cardio training that focuses on endurance, HIIT burns through energy reserves quickly, causing the body to enter the anaerobic threshold. In this, the body begins to burn through reserved energy stores, i.e., fat, to fuel itself.
6. Anywhere, Anytime
One of the best aspects of HIIT is that it can be performed at any place because it doesn’t require any type of equipment. Moreover, the longest workout session of a HIIT lasts about 20 minutes, meaning it can fit into the busiest schedules.
7. It can make you sick
Compared to other forms of anaerobic exercises, HIIT requires maximum effort from the user. For seasoned HIIT athletes, it isn’t much of an issue; however, beginners can feel its toll. Once the body reaches a high amount of VO2 that is not experienced by a person before, it can trigger the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol because of uncertainty. The increased stress during the training can compromise immune function, resulting in a person becoming vulnerable to infections.
A warm-up before any workout is important; however, it becomes essential before HIIT. As this training puts the body at a greater risk of injury due to the intensity of the workout.
9. Focus on the form
It can be challenging to maintain a proper form and use the entire range of motion during intensity training; however, it is as important as the warm-up to ensure you receive all the benefits of HIIT and don’t injure yourself.
10. Sleep Disturbance
Although exercise significantly improves the quality of sleep, excess of it can cause sleeping issues, especially when performed near bedtime. Since HIIT increases the oxygen levels in the body, it can disrupt the sleep cycle, resulting in poor sleep and fatigue.