HIIT: How This One Change in Your Cardio Routine Can Impact Your Cardiovascular Health Forever
Many know that exercising regularly will benefit their health, but did you know that the type of exercise you do can have greater benefits? What if I told you that those benefits could be obtained without spending hours upon hours in the gym?
That’s right. High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, has been proven to provide results faster than traditional aerobic workouts. You no longer have to run for an hour on the treadmill to see results in your cardiovascular health and to battle disease. So, what exactly is high intensity interval training, what are the benefits, and how can it positively impact your cardiovascular fitness? Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions, and the 5 ways HIIT can improve your cardiovascular health.
What Exactly is “HIIT”?
Harvard University describes intensity training simply in their 2015 article, “Interval training for a stronger heart” as, “alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and brief periods of rest (or a different, less-intense activity).” They go on to say that, “The payoff is improved cardiovascular fitness.” The process of alternating between different interval levels using multiple intensities in a single workout can impact the cardiovascular system much quicker than traditional moderate-intensity exercise do to the stress provided by the higher-intensity intervals being coupled with the lower-intensity recovery periods. This allows your heart to recover while still moving provides many benefits that will help you reach your fitness goals.
What Does the Research Say?
Quite a bit of research has been performed over recent years on high intensity interval training and the affects if can have on your health, specifically your cardiovascular health. In their article titled, “Evidence based exercise: Clinical benefits of high intensity interval training” published in 2012, Timothy Shiraev and Gabriella Barclay found there are multiple benefits to utilizing HIIT as a prescribed exercise to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Their conclusion states that:
“High intensity interval training has been shown to have numerous clinical benefits for both healthy and ‘at risk’ populations. General practitioners are encouraged to discuss with their patients the concept of ‘evidence-based exercise’ and using HIIT as part of their exercise program.”
Research has also been conducted by Martin Gibala, as highlighted in the verywellfit.com article “High Intensity Interval Training and Heart Health”. Gibala’s research confirmed that “interval training delivered the same fitness benefits as moderate-intensity exercise, in just a fraction of the time.” He also performed research which focused on the improvement of glucose levels in older diabetic adults. This research showed, “revealing measurable beneficial changes to glucose metabolism, cardiovascular fitness, and body composition, after just two weeks (six sessions).”
How can Adding HIIT to Your Regimen Impact Your Cardiovascular Health?
It’s clear to see that adding HIIT to your fitness routine will provide multiple benefits to your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing a cardiovascular related disease. The research shows that even those who may fall within a “high-risk” population such as older adults who suffer from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases.
You must always consider the risk that is involved with any exercise regimen, thus it is important that you consult your doctor prior to making changes in your routine. Working with a knowledgeable professional is also highly recommended. If you are interested in starting a HIIT program to your regular routine contact VimTrim today for more information about our classes and personal training services.
Harvard Medical School: Harvard Health Publishing. Article: Interval training for a stronger heart. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/interval-training-for-a-stronger-heart
(PDF) Evidence based exercise: Clinical benefits of high intensity interval training. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233841256_Evidence_based_exercise_Clinical_benefits_of_high_intensity_interval_training [accessed Sep 05 2018].