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HIT workouts are performed in intervals of short, high-speed bursts followed by slower recovery sessions—switching between short sprints and light jogging, for instance.
Some other examples of HIT workouts include:
- Squat jumps
- Speed walking
Most intermittent exercises only require your body weight, although some can be done with small equipment like medicine balls and light weights. HIT can also save you time, as it is much shorter than most workouts.
High intensity workouts burn more fat
An average person burns 298-355 calories during a moderate 30-minute jog. Intermittent exercises, however, can burn the same, if not more, calories in less time.
HIT uses up most of your glucose and oxygen stores as energy. As your muscles refuel, they use stored glucose and fat from other parts of the body as energy.
Less demanding workouts only need minimal glucose, and typically your body uses stored carbohydrates as energy instead of fat. Studies suggest that intermittent exercise alters the sequence of metabolic function, shifting the focus from carbs to fat for energy.
Another study discovered that people who performed HIT workouts lost 28.5 percent more weight than people who performed continuous exercises.
HIT continues burning fat after exercise
High intensity exercises burn fat hours after your workout ends. Since your body burns through all of its energy reserves during the workout, it continues burning fat to refuel the muscles. The demand for energy speeds up your metabolism, which results in more calories burned.
HIT also accelerates the production of various hormones, like testosterone and human growth hormones (HGH). With an increase in HGH and testosterone, your body can improve muscle mass, repair muscle tissue, and tone your muscles at a faster rate.
HIT improves your aerobic capacity
Intense activity rapidly raises your heart rate, which increases oxygen intake, improves blood circulation, and impacts your athletic performance.
As your muscles learn to better utilize oxygen, they won’t tire out as quickly during exercise. You’ll notice an increase in aerobic capacity and endurance, allowing you to work out longer and at higher speeds.
Is HIIE right for you?
HIT isn’t for everyone. The drastic change of pace can result in injury if you’re not conditioned for it. Before starting any HIT plans, consult your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.
If you’re new to HIT, it’s best to start out slow and work your way up. Experts recommend a 10-12-week conditioning plan of moderate-to-low intensity workouts to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance.
HIT is demanding, so it shouldn’t be done regularly. It’s better to perform them only a few times a week to avoid injury and allow your muscles to recover properly.
It’s also important to warm up prior to intermittent exercise and stretch afterwards to prevent muscle strains despite how short the workout is.
For more information about HIT and how it might fit into your fitness routine, ask the experts at Atlanta Body Institute. Co-founded by general surgeons Dr. Christopher Ibikunle and Dr. Angelina Postoev, our experienced team specializes in weight loss and surgical procedures.
Atlanta Body Institute has three locations in GA: Atlanta, Loganville, and Monroe. Contact one of our offices today to schedule an appointment or book it online.