Exercise is a key factor when it comes to optimal health. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of three hours of exercise per week to improve health and fitness as well as prevent disease and premature aging. But many people fail to meet these guidelines simply because they don’t have time.
However, according to a growing body of research, there is a way to achieve the same benefits in a third of the time. It’s known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT entails short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of recovery at lower intensity or rest. For instance, let’s say you’re riding a stationary bike. You pedal at maximum intensity for 30 seconds. Then, significantly reduce your speed and/or tension for 90 seconds to recover. You then repeat this cycle 10 times for a total of 20 minutes. And, to see results, you only need to perform this routine three times a week.
HIIT Effectively Burns Fat
Science reveals HIIT is highly effective at burning both subcutaneous and abdominal fat. Even more so than traditional forms of exercise. One study found women who performed three 20 minute sessions of HIIT per week lost significantly more subcutaneous fat (2.5 kg) when compared to women practicing steady state exercise. Another study reported a 44% loss of abdominal fat in type 2 diabetic men after only eight weeks of HIIT.
In addition to fat loss, HIIT has also been shown to improve metabolic function as well as cardiovascular health. And many find it much more enjoyable and sustainable than longer stints of conventional exercising.
So, if you’re short on time, you might want to consider HIIT to burn fat and promote good health. There are many free videos available online as well as smart phone apps to help get you started.
Boutcher, Stephen H. “High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss.” Journal of Obesity 2011 (2011): 1-10. doi:10.1155/2011/868305.