Steady state cardio was the norm for a lot of people when they worked out, however in the recent years High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become increasingly popular. HIIT is when you perform your exercise for about 30 seconds at 90% to 100% capacity, meaning you will be going as hard as you can for this period of time, and then rest for 3 minutes or less. You repeat this cycle for 20-60 minutes, depending on your fitness level. HIIT burns the same amount of calories as steady state cardio, but in a shorter period of time. If you are looking get fit, the following are some important benefits that come from HIIT:
- Betters insulin sensitivity. Your body will become less sensitive insulin, thus reducing blood glucose levels. This will cause the exercising muscles in your body to use glucose for fuel much more efficiently.
- Can improve heart health and lower blood pressure
- Increases your stamina. HIIT activates aerobic and anaerobic systems, which in turn causes you to be able to perform better in your workouts.
- Burns calories after your workout. Because HIIT forces you to work at the hardest you possibly can, it leads your body to burn calories after your workout to get your system back to the state it was before HIIT. This is called post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or often referred to as afterburn.
- Workout time is shorter. As mentioned previously, because you are working so hard, it’ll take you less time to get the benefits of cardio training than if you were performing steady state cardio.