6 surprising health benefits of HIIT training

You turn up for a sweaty HIIT session at Symetrie all the time, but do you know just how many health benefits HIIT training can have on both your mental and physical health?

HIIT is a form of exercise alternating between short bursts of intense exercise, followed by a period of rest. While the timing of these intervals can change, the “intense” periods usually require 80-95% of your maximum effort, with the recovery periods used to allow your heart rate to drop back down again.

In the last few years, HIIT has become more and more popular as an efficient way to exercise and burn fat, achieving similar benefits to lower intensity sessions plus a whole lot more… These include:

  1. HIIT burns more calories in a shorter time.

Compared to other training styles such as steady-state cardio, HIIT burns 20-30% more calories in the same time frame. While the makeup of the session, consisting of intense efforts followed by rest periods, means you’re actually actively exercising for less time than if you went for a 45 minute run, you’re burning more calories overall.

Alternating between intense work efforts and rest means you burn more calories despite less time spent exercising – win!

Even better, you continue burning calories for hours after your HIIT workouts, as your body works to heal your muscles and body from the intense workout! It’s called the EPOC effect – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Double win!

2. HIIT improves your metabolic rate and helps you shed fat.

Studies have shown HIIT can lower body fat far more efficiently than other forms of cardio. People who did HIIT just three times per week saw a decrease in abdominal dat – even without changing their diet! Particularly given the afterburn effect where you continue burning calories long after your session, HIIT torches calories so you can watch the extra kilos melt away too.

3. HIIT improves cardiovascular and heart health.

HIIT training can improve heart and cardiovascular health in both healthy people and people with heart conditions.

HIIT effectively improves the flow of oxygen and blood around your circulatory system, helping your body deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during the intense work periods. As a result, HIIT training strengthens your circulatory system, as well as the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver much-needed oxygen around your body.

HIIT workouts also improve blood flow to your brain, with all these improvements to your cardiovascular health meaning your heart health dramatically improves, reducing your risk of heart disease.

4. HIIT builds muscle.

HIIT workouts – especially at Symetrie – involve many different movements and muscle groups. Think about it, in our sessions you’re often squatting, deadlifting, doing push ups, burpees… The list goes on!

Regularly working so many different muscles will help you build lean muscle, improving your performance in the future and boosting endurance and metabolic health!

Remember, lean muscle also improves your metabolism, which controls how many calories you burn. So building muscle is an incredible benefit of HIIT training!

5. HIIT supports mental health.

While all exercise offers benefits to mental health, HIIT takes the cake. It has been shown to reduce the severity of illnesses including depression, and can improve social avoidance.

While people struggling with mental health can have difficulty finding the motivation to exercise, research found that the short nature of HIIT workouts, as well as the huge amounts of endorphins (feel-good hormones) they produce helped to motivate and improve mental health in those they studied.

6. HIIT training reduces blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

HIIT helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, further decreasing your risk of heart disease.

Compared to steady-state cardio, HIIT has been shown to immediately reduce blood pressure far more effectively, as well as helping to control and stabilise blood sugar levels – in people with and without diabetes. That means you’re more able to resist pesky sugar cravings, and avoid reaching for the chocolate every night!

In fact, after just 8 weeks of HIIT training, people with type 2 diabetes experienced better insulin control and pancreatic function. Amazing!

HIIT is the gift that keeps on giving!

Book into your next class now and start seeing the benefits for yourself!
Or, if you want to help a friend or family member experience these health benefits, we offer unlimited classes for two weeks for just $49 for new members!

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