If you usually do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to lose fat or build muscle, this article will show you the many other benefits of this type of training.
HIIT is a training technique that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by short, low intensity, recovery periods.
A good HIIT workout may involve 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 90 seconds of jogging and then repeat this cycle 3 times.
Some studies show that 2 minutes of HIIT have the same fat-burning effects as a 30-minute continuous endurance workout.
Well, HIIT is not just for those who want to lose fat. Anyone can benefit from this type of training. Below are non-fitness benefits of doing HIIT regularly.
Non-Fitness Benefits of HIIT
1. HIIT May Help Fight Depression
Exercise can make you feel better. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals make us feel happy and reduce the perception of pain.
The good thing about HIIT is that the results are instant. If you start a HIIT workout right now, you could be feeling less depressed in less than 5 minutes.
However, do not rely on HIIT as your only treatment for depression. Seek medical advice from a doctor. In the meantime, use the endorphin-boosting effect of HIIT to alleviate depression.
2. HIIT May Give You an Outlet for Aggression
If you feel like you need an outlet for aggression, HIIT might do the magic for you.
Doing HIIT for a few minutes can help ease your frustrations. Therefore, the next time you feel like exploding, do a short intense workout.
You could do burpees for 30 seconds as fast as you can, rest for 60 seconds, and then repeat this cycle 4 times. Do not let this full body exercise intimidate you – doing burpees alone can get you in great shape.
3. HIIT May Boost Your Self-Esteem
HIIT requires you to push yourself to the limit. As you continue to push yourself, you will realize how strong you are and this may boost your self-esteem.
There is no better training technique to remind yourself just how great you really are. You will leave every workout session feeling like a superhero.
Even better, you can squeeze in HIIT just about any time of the day, which means the power to increase your self-value is always in your hands.
4. HIIT May Boost Your Brain Power
Did you know that exercise could make you smarter? Research shows that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and boost your brain function.
Researchers say that more intense workouts help increase BDNF levels, a type of brain-derived protein that improves thinking, learning and decision making.
I may also note that doing HIIT can improve your memory. One study found that adults had better vocabulary retention after they did sprints.
5. HIIT May Improve Your Skin Health
HIIT will improve blood circulation to your skin. As a result, your skin will get the right amount of oxygen and nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Do not be surprised if your wounds start healing faster.
You have to train at maximum intensity in order to get the blood flowing. Take short rests between high-intensity bursts to keep the blood pumping.
6. HIIT May Help You Recover from Diseases
In the past, people with chronic diseases were advised not to exercise. Talk of misleading advice! New studies show that exercise can be beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
The web is filled with stories of people who have gotten off medication, thanks to consistent exercise.
If you want to fight off diseases, do 5 to 10-minute high-intensity workouts, three times a week. It can also help to walk more than 8,000 steps a day.
7. HIIT May Help Control Hunger
According to a new study, exercise helps lower ghrelin levels, a hormone that helps suppress appetite. But you can only enjoy this benefit if your workout is intense. In fact, the more intense your workout is, the longer you will suppress your appetite.
Don’t avoid exercise thinking it increases appetite. Many people eat because they’re bored or out of habit.
It is not wise to reward yourself after workouts. Research suggests that this habit may cause a calorie surplus because people tend to overestimate calories burned during the workout and underestimate the calories in their post-workout meals.
If you have to eat a post-workout meal, make sure it contains low-calorie foods.
8. HIIT May Help You Sleep Better
Cardio is linked to sounder sleep, but you need to do it at the right time in order to sleep better (right before bed is not the best choice).
As you may know, lack of sleep raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which makes it harder to lose belly fat. Getting quality sleep can regulate your cortisol levels and help reduce cortisol belly fat.
Pair HIIT with good sleeping habits like switching off the TV one hour before bed.
9. HIIT May Help Control Your Addictions
Some people who are addicted to dopamine rely on drugs and alcohol to produce this “reward chemical”. Not knowing that short bursts of HIIT can give them dopamine without the side effects of drugs.
Research shows that exercise can help in alcohol, sex, and food addiction recovery. Short exercises can also distract addicts and stop them from engaging in unhealthy indulgences.
10. HIIT May Make You More Productive
Doing HIIT workouts regularly can make you more productive than your peers. According to research, employees who exercise on a regular basis are more productive than their sedentary counterparts are.
The good thing is that anyone can do HIIT no matter how busy he or she is. It is always a good idea to work out in the morning if you are too busy with work.
11. HIIT May Help You Hold it in
You may want to add HIIT to your daily routine if you usually wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
One study found that regular exercise strengthens the bladder muscles, which may help you hold it in through the night.
12. HIIT May Help Treat Osteoporosis
We have a higher risk of osteoporosis as we grow older. Luckily, you can use exercise to prevent this disease.
One study found that combining HIIT with strength training is the most effective way to preserve bone mass during menopause.
HIIT is not just about burning fat, it can make you happier, improve quality of sleep, fight off diseases, and much more. And the best part is that even 2 minutes of HIIT can be beneficial.
Remember these benefits the next time you feel like skipping your workout. They will motivate you to take action.
Which benefits have you experienced from HIIT?[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]