If you’ve been following the fitness game, you definitely must have heard the term High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT thrown in and about. But it is only recently that this form of exercise has gained its rockstar popularity. HIIT means a short bout of intensive exercise, followed by a short interval and so on. Each HIIT workout is designed to give you most out the buck.
According to health experts at the Arizona State University (ASU), an average adult should aim at doing at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week. The guidelines that were first published in 2008, also said these 150 minutes could be spread out with at least 30 minutes of workout routine at a time.
However, the researchers have been working together for more than a decade to research the effects of HIIT on various health outcomes. "Short bouts always do as well and sometimes better than longer bouts," said Glenn Gaesser, a professor at ASU.
The biggest misconception about HIIT is that it’s too difficult for an average person. Whereas in actuality, it can be modified for different fitness levels.
The idea is to do enough physical activity to elevate the heart rate to a point just before one feels fatigued, which can be different for everyone and then stop.
Generally, one HIIT bout takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
In an animal study conducted on rats, found that less than 10% of rats dosed with HIIT before receiving chemotherapy died from cardiac-related reasons, while roughly 50 percent of rats who were not dosed with HIIT before chemotherapy died from heart failure.
“When we looked at their hearts via electron microscopy, the hearts that got the chemo without exercise were just wrecked. Whereas the hearts that got exercise before the chemo were relatively preserved,” said ASU Assistant Professor Siddhartha Angadi.
The initial results from the human trials say that the hearts of the patients who’re dosed with HIIT are faring better than those who were asked to walk 10,000 steps daily.
So if you’re lazy or a busy bee, this is some great news!