9 Benefits of a HIIT Workout for Health and Weight Loss

High intensity interval training (HIIT) isn’t a new concept in the fitness world, but it’s one that’s seen a surge in popularity in the last few years due to a number of recent scientific studies that have demonstrated its effectiveness for weight loss and overall health.

HIIT is characterized by alternating intervals of high intensity cardio sessions and lower intensity rest periods and can encompass running, walking, biking, aerobics, weight training, and just about any other form of exercise you can think of. The ratios of maximum effort versus rest can vary, but the main goal is to reach 80-90 percent of your max heart rate during the intense intervals and 40-50 percent during recovery intervals.

If you’re looking for a fun new way to get fit, here are nine ways that you could possibly benefit from an HIIT workout.

It’s inexpensive

It’s a myth that getting fit costs money. While things like gym memberships, personal trainers, and home equipment can certainly add up, they aren’t necessary to lose weight and improve your fitness levels.

HIIT can incorporate things like treadmills, exercise bikes, and weights, but it doesn’t have to; many people practice HIIT at home or outside without any equipment at all. All you need to get started is a plan and a stopwatch. There are tons of HIIT routines available for free online and if you’ve got a smart phone with a timer, you’re set.

So instead of dropping hundreds of dollars on a gym membership that you’ll feel guilty about not using later, get creative and look into some methods of exercise that you can do at home at no extra cost.

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It saves time

One of the biggest reasons why people don’t get enough exercise is that we just don’t have the time. We all have busy schedules and setting aside time to work out is easier said than done, particularly when you feel like you have to fit in long workouts to make it worthwhile.

Research has shown that HIIT can help you achieve results faster than regular workouts in a shorter amount of time and with shorter sessions. One study found that just two weeks of HIIT garnered the same fitness results as six to eight weeks of regular exercise while another found that just three 15 minute workouts a week can be more effective than an hour spent on the treadmill. So instead of working out harder and longer, try working out smarter and more efficiently with HIIT.

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It can be done anywhere

Whether you prefer to work out in the privacy of your home, want to fit in a workout on your lunch break, or are looking to keep up your fitness regime while travelling, HIIT can be done just about anywhere at all.

If there’s room to run, you can fit in a workout. If there are stairs to climb, you can incorporate those into your routine. If there’s space enough to do plyometric exercises like lunges, high knees, jumps, and squats, you can fit in an effective equipment-free workout wherever you happen to be, so achieving your fitness goals is easier than ever with a high intensity interval workout.

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