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Although I am a physical therapist by profession, I am not your physical therapist.  This information is for educational purposes only, it does not constitute medical advice and does not establish any kind of therapist-patient relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information. Always consult with your healthcare provider prior to beginning any new exercise regime or when making changes to your diet.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a form of exercise that involves short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. The goal of HIIT is to raise your heart rate and maximize calorie burn in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional steady-state cardio exercises.

HIIT workouts are typically shorter in duration compared to other forms of exercise while still providing similar or even greater benefits. Additionally, HIIT can be adaptable and performed with various exercises, making it suitable for different fitness levels and preferences.

What Are The Benefits of HIIT?

HIIT is an excellent choice for exercise as there are many benefits over traditional cardiovascular exercises like steady-state walking or cycling. It’s important to note that the benefits of HIIT on cardiovascular health can be influenced by the frequency, intensity, and duration of the workouts. Read more below to find out some of the amazing benefits of HIIT.

Efficient and Time-Saving

HIIT workouts are typically shorter in duration compared to traditional steady-state cardio exercises. Due to the intense nature of HIIT, you can achieve significant cardiovascular and metabolic benefits in a shorter amount of time. This makes it an excellent option for individuals with busy schedules or limited workout time.

Generally, a HIIT workout can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Depending on your prior fitness level, you can adjust a HIIT routine to fit your exercise abilities.

Increased Calorie Burn

HIIT can help you burn more calories during and after your workout. The intense bursts of activity elevate your heart rate and metabolism, leading to increased calorie expenditure. The “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) means your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after you finish the workout, helping with weight loss and fat burning.

15 min of HIIT can burn the same calories as 1 hour on a treadmill

Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

HIIT workouts challenge your cardiovascular system by pushing your heart rate to high levels during intense intervals. This stimulates adaptations in your body, such as an increase in stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped by the heart per beat) and cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute). Over time, these adaptations improve your aerobic capacity, allowing your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen more efficiently to your muscles.

Regular HIIT training can lead to a decrease in resting heart rate, which is an indicator of improved cardiovascular fitness. HIIT has also been shown to help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Preserves Muscle Mass

Unlike steady-state cardio exercises, which can potentially lead to muscle loss, HIIT workouts typically involve resistance exercises or bodyweight movements. This can help preserve or even build muscle mass. HIIT is beneficial for those looking to maintain or build lean muscle while also burning fat. Not only that, it can do it in a shorter amount of time than steady-state cardio exercise.

Enhanced Metabolic Health

HIIT has been shown to improve various markers of metabolic health, such as insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. It can help regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes or those at risk of developing it.

Adaptability and Variety

HIIT can easily be adapted to suit different fitness levels, goals, and preferences. It can be performed with various exercises, including bodyweight movements, cardio exercises, and strength training exercises. This versatility allows for a wide range of workout options and prevents boredom.

No Equipment Required

HIIT workouts can be done with little to no equipment, making them accessible and convenient for individuals who prefer to exercise at home or have limited access to gym equipment.

Get Started Today

If you are new to HIIT or have any health concerns, it’s important to start at a comfortable level and gradually increase the intensity and duration as your fitness improves. It’s always recommended to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider to determine the appropriate duration and intensity for your specific needs.