A new study reveals that low-volume, high-intensity interval training can improve and help maintain good health, even though the sessions last only for 20 minutes. Exercise is important for overall health, but many don’t have time to devote to working out.  

What Is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is a type of training that describes any short, intense, unsustainable intense bursts of physical activity with a recovery period. This training causes a sort of metabolic disturbance, which can burn calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later. HIIT can increase metabolism, improve cardiac function, produce faster gains in endurance levels, reduce insulin resistance, and other surprising health benefits.

According to the study published in the journal of physiology, performing low-volume high-intense workouts or a short period of intense anaerobic exercise for around 20 minutes, including the 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise, can yield significant benefits to one’s overall health.   

In December, the World Health Organization updated its exercise guidance and recommended at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75-100 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Whereas the authors found the low-volume HIIT exercise itself gives out comparable or even superior improvements in metabolic health, heart function, and arterial health.   

Researchers say it needs more work to understand the physiological reasons for this, but the metabolic improvements are caused by enhanced mitochondrial function and insulin sensitivity.

This research provides useful information not just for people with little time to exercise but also for people with health issues. An earlier study published by the same team demonstrated four-minute HIIT sessions, three minutes per were found to improve sugar blood level, fitness in type 2 diabetics, and liver fat.

Tips for Intense Workouts

If you’re new to HIIT, include these tips in your fitness routine

1. Start slowly- Start slowly and increase your progress.

2. Fix the right schedule- Aim for 15 minutes each session for one or two days each week and gradually increase your workout time.

3. Focus on full-body movements- Focus on exercises that involve full-body movements. Do follow workouts like squat and press, mountain climbers, push-up, and burpee all fit the bill.

4. Muscle soreness is normal – During the initial stages of HIIT workouts, you’ll experience muscle soreness, and it is normal.

5. Prepare your body for workouts- Make sure your body is hydrated. Eat a light meal one or two hours before your workout.

HIIT or LIIT the choice is yours but getting enough exercise is important and good for overall health.