Everything you need to know about the HIIT workout that's taken Dubai by storm
Everyone from your neighbour to your work colleague is probably at the gym in a HIIT training class. So what exactly is HIIT training?
HIIT basically stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It involves repeated bursts of high intensity exercise with low intensity recovery periods. This enables your body to achieve results such as, improved muscle tone, fat burning, strength building, endurance and cardio fitness all in one work out saving you time and making your workout more enjoyable.
The reason HIIT is so effective is that it raises your resting metabolic rate for twenty-four hours or more after your training session allowing your body to burn more fat even after you finish exercising.
HIIT sessions can fit into anyone’s daily routine, making them more sustainable in the long term than other workouts, you can range your workouts from 20 to 60 mins depending on your availability and goals. Shorter workouts can be done daily and by selected muscle groups, longer sessions can be full body workouts and carried out every other day giving your body time to rest, recover and repair.
The workout is adaptable for all fitness levels and goals, which partly explains its popularity among everybody from the young and old, fit or injured. It can be performed on gym equipment such as treadmills or rowing machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells or bodyweight exercises such as press-ups, squats sit-ups etc. You can even workout in your own home with no equipment, it is that adaptable.
Happy hormones are a HIIT
Studies have shown that moving can help stimulate your ‘happy hormones’, including serotonin (a chemical in the body that helps regulate mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion and sleep) which is why you can feel amazing after a good HIIT workout.
The first few minutes is always the hardest and you will feel like giving up, but after five + minutes, something happens in the body which triggers serotonin in your brain, a chemical linked with wellbeing and happiness. By the time you finish your session, you will be feeling like a new person when leaving the room.
Despite the benefits of exercise, not everyone able to commit to a gym routine which is one of the most common barriers is a lack of time to workout. We have all heard the saying ‘Everyone has 24 hours in a day, it’s how you choose to spend them’. Some people wait till they get diagnosed with a health issue before choosing to exercise, some issues are irreversible and can cause more long-term effects while exercising. So for the purpose of a longer healthier life it easier to start when you are younger and healthier.
HIIT is an efficient way to exercise, and is a great choice for people who find it difficult to fit physical activity into their schedule.
So what are the benefits of a HIIT workout?
Studies have shown that for each HIIT session a person can the following benefits:
• improved heart and lung health
• improved metabolic health, which can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels
• increased oxygen supply to the muscles
• Decreased stress levels
• Better sleep patterns
• Endorphin rush, puts you in a good mood
Maybe it's your turn to get onto the HIIT bandwagon.
Sharon McConnell is one of the coaches at NRG Fitness in Dubai.