HIIT to Improve Your Metabolism
HIIT sessions (high-intensity interval training) can be a time-efficient alternative to hours of conventional cardio that can help improve your metabolism, endurance, and push through your cardio plateaus. Remember, exercise smarter, not harder!
1. HIIT can improve your metabolism and insulin sensitivity by 23%
2. HIIT can improve fatty-acid oxidation
3. HIIT can save you hours of time doing conventional cardio training
Ready to get your HIIT on?
We get this complaint a lot, “Why am I not losing more weight? I’m doing tons of cardio but the results aren’t happening.”
With which we reply to try HIIT: high-intensity interval training.
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HIIT sessions are a way to get the results of hours of conventional cardio in two or three, 15-25 minute sessions a week. They can increase your metabolism and increase your VO2 max (the maximal oxygen consumption: your ability to uptake oxygen or your cardio fitness).
First of all, cardio training is great! It helps keep your heart healthy, helps increase circulation, and helps improve your metabolism.
BUT doing hours of conventional cardio a week can be hard on your joints and can cause you to metabolically plateau. Let’s not forget that doing hours of cardio can be time-consuming (who has the time to run 2 hours a day?).
How to Improve Your Metabolism
There is another cardio option, HIIT sessions. These time-efficient sessions take interval training to the maximum. HIIT sessions are simply alternating between short periods of maximal effort and short periods of rest.
These sessions can have remarkable outcomes. Doing just three, 15 minute HIIT sessions a week you can increase endurance, increase VO2, and increase your metabolism (Gibala & McGee 2008).
Another study found that doing just seven HIIT sessions over a two-week period produced a positive increase in fatty acid oxidation (helping increase metabolism of fats) in woman who were moderately active (Talanian et al 2006).
If these examples haven’t convinced you to give HIIT a try, maybe this will. In on study, HIIT sessions improved insulin sensitivity by 23% (helping increase metabolic processes: Babraj et al 2009)!
Remember that you don’t have to run for it to be a HIIT session you can use a stationary bike, stair climber, elliptical, bodyweight training, weight lifting…etc.
It’s ideal to do only 2-3 HIIT sessions a week considering that can be incredibly draining on the body when done right and your body needs a period of recovery between sessions.
Now that you have a handle on HIIT and how it can improve your metabolism, go out there a try one and see if it’s right for you!
Babraj JA, Vollaard NBJ, Keast C, Guppy FM, Cottrell G, Timmons JA (2009) Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. BMC Endo Disorders 9:3.
Gibala MJ, McGee SL (2008) Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain. Ex Sport Sci Rev 36:58-63.
Talanian JL, Galloway SDR, Heigenhauser GJF, Bonen A, Spriet LL (2006) two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. J App Physio 102: 1439-1447.