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Why are HIIT workouts so effective?

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and is a form of cardiovascular training.The exercise is done in intense short burts followed by rest periods or lower-intensity excerice.

The sessions usually last from 10-30 minutes. For a 30 minute HIIT workout around 261-374 calories will be burnt.

They can start slow and become faster from one exercise to another.The performer's heart rate will reach at least 80 percent of their maximum heart rate usually for one to five minutes during the intense exercise period.

It can include include sprinting, biking, jump rope or other body weight exercises.

So what are the benefits of a HIIT workout?

Studies have shown that interval routines lead to greater gains in VO2 max compared with other forms of training in a shorter period of time meaning the oxygen uptake of the performer increases.

It is also proven that blood sugar can be reduced by HIIT workouts. One study reviewed the blood glucose levels of 8 patients with type 2 diabetes before and after 6 sessions of interval training set out over 2 weeks. Therefore, it is effective for lowering blood glucose levels for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, HIIT workouts are also an effective way of building muscle. As the workout requires the body to use more of its muscle tissue to perform. A study found that a HIIT workout requires the body to use up to 80% of its muscle fibres.

However, what makes HIIT workouts so effective is that it produces excess post-oxygen consumption. This is often referred to as the 'afterburn' effect. This causes your resting metabolic rate to raise for twenty-four hours or more after your training session- so long after the workout your body is still burning fat. HIIT was also found to shift the body's metabolism toward using fat for energy rather than carbs. Therefore, there is no doubt that HIIT workouts are an effective way of burning calories and losing weight in a short period of time.

However, it is important to have 24 hours of rest and recovery between sessions as over-training can lead to injuries. Also, there may be muscle soreness after intense or strenuous workouts.

Perhaps try out this 30 minute HIIT training session and see the effects...

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