We’ll be real with you. Unless you LOVE going to the gym every day, it can be hard to get motivated to get up and get fit. (Or hey, maybe you do love going to the gym every day… More power to you!) But if you’re not a bonafide gym rat, HIIT could be the solution to your gym-time blues. You can spend less time working out and see better results by incorporating high-intensity interval training into your routine. Seriously.
Need a little more convincing? Here are 6 reasons to add HIIT training to your routine, stat:
1. Torch calories
One of the main reasons HIIT is such a popular workout is its effectiveness. Thanks to something called EPOC, which stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (more commonly referred to as afterburn), the high intensity of a HIIT session means your body continues burning calories even after you’re done working out. Your body requires more oxygen after a HIIT workout compared to steady-state cardio, which means your system is working to catch up long after you’ve left the gym.
2. Build strength
One of the most common misconceptions about HIIT is that it will bulk you up. HIIT works to burn fat while maintaining lean muscle, meaning you’re building strength, not bulk. HIIT classes generally combine cardio and strength training, which is proven to be one of the best ways to strengthen your body, from your heart and lungs, to your muscles and joints.
3. Increase energy
Exercise releases endorphins, improves sleep, and boosts mental clarity, all of which lead to an increase in mood and energy levels. HIIT takes it one step further. Because a HIIT workout requires all of your effort in short bursts with periods of rest in-between, the method does wonders for your heart health. A healthy cardiovascular system means your body runs more efficiently overall, providing leftover energy that doesn’t leave you feeling so blah at the end of the day.
4. Boost endurance
Though it’s important to note that endurance ability is largely genetic, there are still a few ways HIIT can help. Because HIIT helps improve cardiovascular health and requires more oxygen than steady-state routines, your body adapts to working harder during those short stints. As soon as you adapt, you’re able to push your body harder during your next workout. Over time, you’ll be able to take on longer stretches of steady-state cardio workouts like running or cycling.
5. Save time
Adding high-intensity intervals to your program is the best way to supercharge your routine without spending extra time at the gym. There’s nothing wrong with steady-state cardio of course (it can do wonders when combined with a HIIT routine!) but amping up the intensity of your workout allows you to do more in less time. Because sometimes, there’s just never enough time in the day.
6. Move better
Aside from getting stronger and helping to unleash your inner badass, HIIT training also helps improve flexibility and range of motion, both of which help prevent injury. Tight muscles are weak muscles, so strength training is one of the best ways to loosen things up. Just make sure you learn proper form from a pro before taking matters into your own hands!