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High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT: How to Get Into The Highly Beneficial Exercises

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that alternates periods of high-intensity work with brief periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. The crux of HIIT is to engage in exercises at maximum effort followed by short rest intervals, elevating the heart rate dramatically in a condensed timeframe, often with workouts lasting less than 30 minutes.1

Impressive health benefits of HIIT

The subject of HIIT is important for health because it offers numerous benefits, including:
- effective burning of belly fat,
- potentially up to 450% more human growth hormone production,
- improving cardiovascular system health,
- boosting mood and helping with mental health,
- some studies suggest, HIIT may help improve insulin resistance, benefiting those at risk for or with type 2 diabetes.1, 2, 3

Many faces of HIIT exercises

Variations of HIIT include traditional exercises like running and cycling, and more recent adaptations within strength training and plyometrics. Examples of established HIIT programs are Tabata, CrossFit, or boxing-style workouts, which all focus on high-intensity exercises with minimal rest periods.1

How to start doing HIIT properly?

To start doing HIIT correctly for health benefits, follow these steps:

  1. If you're new to HIIT, commence with one to two sessions per week lasting 10 to 20 minutes and focus on exercises that match your fitness level.1

  2. Slowly increase the intensity of workouts and decrease rest intervals as your fitness improves.1

  3. Warm-up properly before intense exercises to prepare your body and reduce injury risk.1

  4. Progress by increasing the duration of exercises, the resistance used, or the number of sets to keep challenging your body.4

  5. Incorporate days of HIIT with days of lower-intensity aerobic exercise to balance intensity and recovery.5

Precautions include not overdoing HIIT to avoid overstressing the body, to prevent adverse effects on the immune system, and sustenance of chronic pain.1

Let’s sum it up!

In summary, HIIT's structured alternation of high-intensity workouts with rest periods has made it an attractive, efficient exercise option for improving both metabolic and cardiovascular health benefits, while saving time. When starting HIIT, it is essential to assess your fitness level, begin gradually, be mindful of recovery needs, and progressively increase your workout intensity to harness these health benefits safely.


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