HOW TO GET FAST RE­SULTS

HIIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT! HERE’S WHY TURN­ING UP THE IN­TEN­SITY OF YOUR WORK­OUT CAN WORK WON­DERS

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | WEWLLBEING -

Get­ting ac­tive and ex­er­cis­ing more reg­u­larly is one of the best things we can do for our phys­i­cal and men­tal health. Not only does it re­duce our risk of dis­ease, it can sig­nif­i­cantly en­hance our en­ergy levels and in­crease our gen­eral hap­pi­ness with life.

The prob­lem is that tra­di­tional, en­durance­based ex­er­cise can be time-consuming and not very prac­ti­cal. In a busy world where our phone never stops ring­ing, it can be re­ally dif­fi­cult to sched­ule (and stick to) long work­outs.

That’s where HIIT comes in. HIIT is short for high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing and con­sists of short, in­tense bursts of ex­er­cise, book­marked by pe­ri­ods of rest and recovery. In gen­eral, HIIT ses­sions take no longer than 20 to 30 min­utes and — most im­por­tantly — they work.

It may be the sin­gle best way to cause a rapid body trans­for­ma­tion. Read on to learn about the top four ben­e­fits of this type of train­ing.

TRIG­GER LONG-TERM FAT LOSS

When we spend an hour walk­ing on a tread­mill we may burn a lot of calo­ries but the ben­e­fits stop when we get off. When we train us­ing in­ter­vals, how­ever, our bod­ies will burn calo­ries for hours af­ter we stop ex­er­cis­ing (some stud­ies say up to nine times faster). This is due to some­thing called EPOC, or ex­er­cise post-ex­er­cise oxy­gen con­sump­tion, which is how our bod­ies use oxy­gen. With HIIT there is also a cor­re­spond­ing me­tab­o­lism boost, which will keep our fat-burn­ing fire roar­ing for up to 24 hours af­ter we stop ex­er­cis­ing.

IM­PROVE BLOOD SUGAR

More than 50 stud­ies have shown that Hiit-style train­ing helps re­duce blood sugar and im­prove in­sulin re­sis­tance when com­pared with tra­di­tional ex­er­cise. This makes it a no-brainer for peo­ple who are cur­rently at risk of type-2 diabetes. In­ter­est­ingly, these re­sults have also been mimicked in peo­ple who al­ready have diabetes. Stud­ies have shown that HIIT im­proves blood sugar for this group too. If you are some­one who strug­gles with your blood sugar con­sider adding weekly ses­sions of sprints or tabata pro­to­cols to your ex­er­cise routine.

RE­DUCE HEART RATE AND BLOOD PRES­SURE

Train­ing with high in­ten­sity in­ter­vals four days a week for 20 to 30 min­utes at a time has been shown to have a ben­e­fi­cial ef­fect on high blood pres­sure in obese in­di­vid­u­als. Com­bined with its weight-loss ef­fects (and be­ing used in con­junc­tion with a healthy, calo­rie-con­trolled diet), this could mean a rapid in­crease in sig­nif­i­cant health mark­ers for peo­ple who tra­di­tion­ally strug­gle with their weight or find it hard to make time for ex­er­cise. In the long-term it could also mean a re­duced risk of heart dis­ease and other car­dio­vas­cu­lar is­sues.

BUILD MEN­TAL TOUGH­NESS

We’ve all heard the old say­ing “no pain no gain” and, make no mis­take about it, HIIT is tough. It is real work to get your­self into the phys­i­cal con­di­tion where you can reach high levels of ex­er­tion in a small time­frame. It’s not just your body that will change. Push­ing your­self to ex­plore new levels of dis­com­fort will grad­u­ally change the way you see the world. You will gain a tough­ness, in­side and out, that can have ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects for the rest of your life.

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