High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become popular in recent years for a number of reasons. They do not It requires a lot of time As a regular exercise (some can take as little as 10 minutes), research shows this Improving fitnessAnd the Reduction of Blood pressure Helping people manage Blood sugar levels This may aid in weight loss and prevent diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
And recently, Prof. A review was found A form of HIIT exercise called low-volume HIIT has benefits for heart health and metabolism. This means that a reduced HIIT volume can lead to similar – or even greater – improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and cardiac function compared to continuous aerobic exercise (such as running a five-mile run).
HIIT is characterized by alternating periods of low and high intensity exercise. For example, this might include cycling at an easy pace for a few minutes before increasing the effort to a high level or even extreme for a short period of time before returning to an easy pace. Then this is repeated during the exercise session with the total time spent at a high intensity usually low. There are different classes of HIIT depending on the intensity of the exercise required.
In this study, the researchers conducted an in-situ review of the current evidence on low-volume HIIT and its benefits for heart health. Thematic reviews provide an up-to-date overview of the latest information in a specific field or rapidly developing field of research.
They looked at a total of 11 studies. They defined low volume HIIT as an exercise in which the total time spent in active periods (not including rest periods) was less than 15 minutes. Overall, they found that low volume HIIT improves a person’s ability to burn fuel (such as carbohydrates and fats), which is directly related to blood sugar control – and may be important in preventing diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. They also found that HIIT Supervised in healthy people, people with obesity, and type 2 diabetes is safe.
Low volume HIIT has also been shown to improve cardiac structure – eg, chamber enlargement. This increases the volume of blood that the heart can pump to the rest of the body with each heartbeat. These benefits were true for people without underlying health conditions, as well as for people who were affected Heart failure (The heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body properly because it has become too weak or stiff.)
The fact that this review showed that low HIIT volume also improves cardio-respiratory fitness is important. Even moderate improvements in heart health have been shown to be Reducing negative cardiovascular events Such as heart attacks and strokes by up to 30%.
These results show that even short exercise can improve health. Current WHO guidelines recommend adults get 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. However, time constraints It is often cited As a major barrier to many people’s exercise. Low volume HIIT is likely to be more time efficient during rendering Similar or greater Improvements in health outcomes such as prolonged workouts.
Mine Special research is suggested Low-volume sports interventions can be used without feeling too stiff or irritating, which is important for motivating people to continue the exercise regimen. It might also be helpful for people around Inactive or suffer from long-term health conditions.
How does HIIT work?
Regardless of the type of HIIT, health improvements are believed to result from the rate – not the amount – at which glycogen is used by the muscles and skeletal system (the carbohydrates that the body stores for energy). Muscle glycogen is an important reserve of fuel – so our body tries to replenish it as an energy source priority.
HIIT workouts deplete muscle glycogen at a rate that reaches the body It increases the number and activity of mitochondria (Cell powers) in our muscles to allow us to meet the energy demands of exercise. This, in turn, leads to improvements in fitness, metabolic function, and health.
There are some limitations to HIIT research. Most of the studies were conducted in laboratory settings. This makes it difficult to know how effectively HIIT works as a real-world exercise strategy.
This review also has its own limitations. Usually, when analyzing the results of a wide range of research, experts use a systematic review or meta-analysis. This is the highest level of evidence within the search designs. They systematically assess the quality of studies and use methods that reduce bias. This allows us to draw reliable and accurate conclusions. But the topical reviews do not – which means that this particular paper does not give the most objective view on the effectiveness of low volume HIIT.
Also, when considering the time involved to warm up and cool down, as well as the time taken to recover between high-intensity periods, not all HIIT exercises can be considered more time-efficient than traditional exercises. In this review, the average total time for each exercise was approximately 40 minutes – of which no more than 15 minutes are active.
But that doesn’t mean HIIT cannot be a substitute for long workouts – especially given a growing body of evidence showing that it has a number of similar benefits to other types of workouts. Current thinking also points to this Every part of the movement is important. So, focus on the quality (intensity) of the exercise, rather than its duration, and finding ways to incorporate a higher-intensity movement into daily activities. May be helpful In improving our health and fitness.
Image: Even short HIIT workouts can have benefits. Ljubko Smokovsky / Shutterstock