If you want more benefit from exercise in less time then you should add high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your exercise program. High-intensity interval training can be using exercise machines like treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bicycles, rowing machines, or stair-climbers
High Intensity Interval Training
High intensity interval training is performed by exercising at maximum or near maximum exertion for short periods ranging typically from 20 seconds to a minute followed by a rest period or lower intensity exertion and repeated several times.
Studies show that HIIT delivers the same cardiovascular benefits in less time in comparison to steady paced aerobic exercise done for 30 to 60 minutes.
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Benefits of HIIT
High intensity interval training leads to increased metabolism, improved insulin sensitivity, increased growth hormone and testosterone production, and increased nitric oxide production.
High intensity interval training results in higher post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) than does steady-paced aerobics. This means HIIT leads to the burning of more calories after exercise than aerobics. You burn more calories throughout the day following HIIT making weight control easier.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Improved insulin sensitivity occurs with HIIT too. Insulin resistance occurs with diabetes and metabolic syndrome increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, and obesity. Muscle is the largest source of insulin receptors. Exerting muscles at maximum or near maximum exertion produces metabolic changes leading to improved insulin sensitivity. Less insulin is then required to drive sugar from the blood to the tissues. Insulin causes inflammation and leads to fat gain. Keeping insulin levels low is critical to achieve optimal health.
Growth Hormone and Testosterone Production
Growth hormone and testosterone play major roles on body composition. Growth hormone injections in patients deficient in growth hormone leads to a 14.4% decrease in body fat and a 8.8% increase in lean mass. Growth hormone and testosterone are released in response to vigorous exercise.
To trigger growth hormone and testosterone release exercise must be intense enough to break the anaerobic threshold. High intensity interval training breaks the anaerobic threshold. Moderate to heavy strength training is another stimulus of growth hormone and testosterone release. The resulting improved body composition lowers the risk chronic disease. Growth hormone is also the main healing or rejuvenating hormone.
Improved Nitric Oxide Production
Nitric oxide may be the most important molecule in the body next to oxygen and water. Nitric oxide mediates many biochemical reactions that take place in the body and is essential to cardiovascular health. The quality of your health is directly related to your ability to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is increased by eating green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and is increased with exercise. All forms of exercise will improve nitric oxide production but studies show that HIIT performed at 90% of maximum heart rate is better at improving endothelial function and nitric oxide production than is steady paced aerobics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Medical Advisor - Healthy Life Focus, LLC.
Dr. Joe is Joseph G. Jacko M.D.
He is board certified in internal and sports medicine and his main practice interest is helping patients achieve optimal health through hormone replacement therapy (men and women) and exercise and nutrition.
He is a certified fitness trainer through ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association).
Dr. Joe has given numerous talks on sports medicine, exercise, nutrition, and hormones. He has two chapters published in Hughston Orthopaedic Clinic: Sports Medicine Book and is in the process of writing his first book based on the content he has written for his personal website Anti-Aging World.