The pressures of juggling modern life may leave you feeling exhausted. Finding the time and motivation to fit in exercise can be challenging; especially if you find it laborious and the end result underwhelming. It’s not surprising then that more people are turning to HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). In a recent study (High-Intensity Interval Training Elicits Higher Enjoyment Than Moderate Continuous Exercise) evidence suggested that people have a higher level of enjoyment and satisfaction with HIIT than with Moderate Intensity Continuous Exercise (MICT).
So what is HIIT and why should we be doing it? According to FitnessBlender.com “HIIT is defined as short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests. This type of intense training causes a sort of metabolic disturbance which can result in the body burning calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later. HIIT can also increase metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, improve cardiac function and produce faster gains in endurance levels than steady state cardio training.” A session should last between 4 and 20 minutes and should only be done 1 to 3 times a week, this allows your body to fully recover. An appealing fitness option then, when you are up against the clock.
But taking the time element away, what other reasons can there be in terms of levels of enjoyment compared with MICT? The study finds that…
1. The intermittent nature of HIIT provides participants with multiple recovery intervals which may provide a “break” from less positive affective responses, which are seen with continuous exercise.
2. Many participants viewed MICT as quite monotonous and did not enjoy maintaining a moderate effort for 20 min. In contrast, HIIT provides an ever-changing stimulus that breaks the entire session up into small increments of work interspersed with recovery.
3. There is a certain level of accomplishment that is experienced during HIIT which is not apparent in MICT. Overall, this may give the exerciser a greater amount of self-confidence and may explain why 92% of participants preferred HIIT to MICT.
Another advantage to HIIT is that you don’t need any equipment; allowing you the freedom to do it anywhere and at any time.
In summary then: more people are turning to HIIT because
A. It’s more enjoyable
B. It’s time effective
C. You can do it anywhere
D. It’s quick bursts and rests break up the monotony
The end result; leads to a greater sense of achievement and potentially a greater amount of self-confidence!
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