Valentine’s Day is upon us and whether your heart is full or broken (hopefully not the case) you still need to make sure it’s healthy (so that it’s not literally broken). With that said let’s talk about my favorite approach to train the cardiovascular system… High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
For our readers out there who don’t know me, my name is Casey Davis. I am a trainer here at BOOM Fitness as well as the HIIT Program Coordinator. If you ever hear loud yelling from across the gym “LETS GO! KEEP GOING! PUSH HARDER!” that would be me coaching a HIIT class. In this blog I want to talk about some of the benefits of HIIT not only on the heart but other health benefits as well.
1.) Heart Health: We all know how important our heart health is but a lot of us take our health for granted, whether it’s through diet and/or life stress our heart takes a hit (no pun intended). With heart disease on the rise it’s important that we take action now and start showing that heart some TLC. HIIT has scientifically been proven to increase the elasticity and flexibility of the arteries and veins around the heart more than moderate and longer duration aerobic exercise. HIIT can help to lower blood pressure and improve resting heart rate. A healthy heart is a happy heart.
2.) Improved Cardiovascular & Skeletal Muscle Endurance: Like we talked about with the heart…hiit has been shown to improve blood pressure, as well as create higher counts of mitochondria which in turn can improve and boost your endurance. We have had members here at Boom take HIIT alongside long-distance running, and tell me and our other hiit coaches that their mile times and overall endurance improved drastically from incorporating hiit into their training regimen. HIIT can have carryover to improving other forms of fitness as well!
3.) Improved Mood: Research has shown that moderate exercise can improve mood in as little as 5 minutes. Exercise increases your level of endorphins which gives you that positive and happy feeling you experience after a workout. Exercise not only is a short term solution for enhancing your mood, but there has been research that shows it can have long term effects, such as alleviate long term depression and anxiety.
4.) Accelerated Fat Loss: HIIT is a great option when it comes to burning body fat. Unlike steady state cardio when we perform hiit our bodies go through a process called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). What this means is that our bodies continue to burn calories even when at rest. Think of it this way… when you go on a long road trip and you get to your destination, if you open the hood of your car the engine is still hot and will remain hot for awhile and eventually overtime it will cool down. There are other ways to achieve EPOC but research has shown that HIIT is the most effective way to stimulate EPOC. There are a lot of conflicting studies that show how long the afterburn effect lasts, but regardless you are still
optimizing and making the fat loss process more efficient with HIIT (in conjunction with optimal nutrition of course).
5.) Time Efficient: HIIT workouts are very time efficient. You do a lot of work in a short amount of time. This is very convenient for the busy individual who doesn’t have time to spend 1-2 hours in the gym. HIIT workouts depending on the intensity can have a duration of 10 minutes up to 30 minutes. Anything above that and I personally feel like it is no longer high intensity. You should be feeling it at that 30 minute mark.
Whether you are looking for a new challenge, a more time efficient workout, or to improve biomarkers and overall health, HIIT is a great option. Come try out a class! We have morning, noon, and evening classes. Check out our schedule either online or at the front desk. We hope to see you there!