Benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT)

April 07, 2020 / by / 0 Comment
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By Kayla Hartson
Student Fitness Program Coordinator

One of the main reasons why people say they don’t exercise is that they don’t have enough time. Luckily, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise format that enables you to get a full body workout in as little as 15-20 minutes.

A HIIT format consists of an interval of high intensity work followed by a rest/active recovery interval. Forget the excuse of not having enough time. HIIT makes it possible and convenient to prioritize your health and improve your fitness level.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

It is time efficient: Because of the high intensity format, a complete workout can last as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. Because the body is working at such a high intensity during this format, it is able to burn more calories in less time.

It keeps your metabolism elevated throughout the day: Not only does HIIT burn calories during the workout session, it causes your metabolism to stay elevated and burn calories for hours after your workout. Your metabolism will stay elevated because of the time it takes to restore energy and repair tissue. This is one of the main reasons why HIIT is so effective.

It leads to fat loss: HIIT utilizes both fats and carbohydrates as fuel during the workout. Because you are working at a high intensity, your body will be burning more calories, which then will cause you to burn more fat and carbohydrates. In addition, you will continue to burn fat throughout the day as your body recovers.

It has several health benefits: HIIT has been shown to increase cardiovascular health as well as muscular function. HIIT helps to improve VO2Max (the ability to efficiently utilize oxygen), blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, which helps prevent diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Because of the great amount of stress it causes on the body, you should perform HIIT only about 3 times per week, with a day in between each workout. You still can engage in light/moderate intensity exercise on the days in between. Your body needs time to recover so that you are able to continue to push yourself and prevent overtraining and injury.

Give this at-home HIIT workout a try this week and follow the Student Fitness Centers Instagram page, @sfc.gcu, for more HIIT workout ideas and health tips!

20 Minute HIIT At-Home Workout

(No equipment needed)

Round 1

High Knees 20 seconds
Burpees 20 seconds
Jumping Jacks 20 seconds
Rest 60 seconds

Repeat 5x (Total = 10 minutes)

Round 2

Skater Jumps 20 seconds
Squat Jumps 20 seconds
Pushup + Tuck Jump 20 seconds
Rest 60 seconds

Repeat 5x (Total = 10 minutes)


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