How is HIIT Helpful For Your Physical And Mental Health?20 August 2018
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, has really boomed in popularity recently. The fast-paced workout that includes bursts of intense training followed by short rests, offers a variety of both physical and mental health and fitness benefits.
We wanted to explore why the HIIT training is currently all the rage for overall well being, and why it can improve your physical and mental health, regardless of your fitness level.
HIIT gives you the kick-start you need
Most of us want to workout to get healthier and to look our best, but often our focus on the ultimate end goal distracts us from the simple fact that regular exercise just makes us feel happier.
By taking the steps to start exercising on a regular basis now, your mental health, overall happiness and wellbeing will be improved because you’ll be taking the steps to fulfilling your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just release those happiness inducing chemicals called endorphins, HIIT can give you the quick kick-start you need.
HIIT firmly fits into the category of exercise methods that can quickly see you reaching your health and fitness goals in no time, while feeling fantastic.
How does HIIT work?
Most of us want to train and exercise but usually struggle because of busy weeks and hectic schedules, this is why HIIT can be the ideal solution. The whole idea of this exercise method is to do very short but intense bursts of exercise, followed by timed rest periods that allow your body to partially recover, before you push hard again.
Following this formula allows you to quickly push your body to its upper limits over and over again. Effectively shocking your body with every burst of intense workout, for faster results. HIIT has a huge impact on fat burning and mental health, and it only takes 20 to 30 minutes.
What are the benefits?
Firstly, one of the main benefits of HIIT is that it doesn’t prescribe to just one strict training method, like weight or circuit training, it’s all about the actual way you workout. The basic principles of high-intensity interval training can be applied to any form of exercise. It can be practiced by yourself at home or in group fitness classes at the gym.
Not only can HIIT effectively burn fat and build lean muscle, your metabolism will also get a boost so you’ll continue burning calories long after you’ve worked out. Because this workout method is so intense, feelings of anxiety won’t even have time to enter your head, as you’ll be too busy focusing on catching your breath while your brain is full of endorphins.
As well as helping to clear your headspace and enhance your mood, practicing HIIT can improve the body’s oxygen consumption, similarly to longer endurance training sessions. In some cases it can even reduce heart rate and blood pressure for those suffering with weight problems.
How it helps you physically and mentally
Exercise in any form gets your body moving and your blood pumping, but also allows your happy hormones to prosper. Therefore it makes sense that the higher intense workouts will stimulate the release of positive endorphins and serotonin much more effectively. The more intense and fast the training, the more floods of happiness hormones will be triggered, leaving you feeling unstoppable.
It’s not going to be easy, due to the nature of HIIT, with short intense bursts followed by quick rests, your body might feel like giving up after the first minute or so of starting out. However, once you push through the threshold of the first five minutes, you’ll be feeling fitter and happier in no time.
You’ll also realise what you and your body is capable of, and this may surprise you. Before you know it your body and mental wellbeing will start to feel a lot stronger.
How do I do HIIT?
No matter what your current fitness level is, anyone can try HIIT. Your aim will be the same as everyone else, to quickly raise your heart rate before letting it recover.
When starting out, make sure to pick a workout you really enjoy, and keep the intense bursts of maximum effort followed by the rest periods, as short as you can. Say 20 seconds for the exercise with 40 seconds of recovery, rinse and repeat for up to 20 to 30 minutes.
You’ll soon start to feel the physical and mental benefits that will keep you coming back for more.
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