What are the Health Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training?


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High intensity interval training is a high intensity form of exercise that is performed for intermittent periods of time. It is typically performed by people as an advanced form of interval training, which is an exercise method that involves short periods of very intense anaerobic exercise with less intensive periods of recovery. High intensity interval training is a method of cardiovascular training. The exact period of high intensity interval training varies but it typically lasts between five and thirty minutes in total.

The health benefits of high intensity interval training has been the subject of excessive study in recent years and they have been shown to increase the conditioning and capacity of athletes, improve both the pathways of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis (pathways of glucose metabolism), and increase fat burning capacity (one of the primary reasons of its increase popularity in recent years). There are a number of different regimes that have arisen over the years which all follow the general methodology put forth by high intensity interval training principles. It should also be noted that, though high intensity interval training is primarily a cardiovascular exercise, it can be done through the use of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises (in other words: it can be done using intervals of weight training or aerobic training).

There are a large number of aerobic benefits to be gained through the application of high intensity interval training into an exercise routine. It has been shown that one hour of high intensity interval training will produce the same muscular benefits and endurance benefits as five hours of long and steady endurance training. In addition, the resting metabolic rate of individuals performing high intensity interval training remains increased for about twenty four hours after the exercise is complete. Maximal oxygen consumption is increased more effectively through high intensity interval training than through long aerobic workouts that have been traditionally advocated. Aerobic systems of metabolism are taxed to their maximum capacity through the use of high intensity interval training. This maximum activation of aerobic metabolic systems greatly increases their efficiency and also increases the total capacity of those systems.

Metabolic benefits are just as numerous as aerobic benefits after the performance of high intensity interval training. High intensity interval training has been shown to be far more effective at burning fat than the long aerobic workouts that have been traditionally promoted as the best fat burning method. In addition, high intensity interval training has been shown to be very successful in lowering insulin resistance. Skeletal muscle fat oxidation has also been shown to be increased in addition to an increased tolerance to glucose. This has significant benefits for pre-diabetics and diabetics, as it alleviates a number of the issues surrounding their disease (those being lowered glucose tolerance and increased insulin resistance).

The benefits of high intensity interval training are varied and numerous. Though there are a number of training regimes involved and they may seem to be very different, they all follow the same basic principles that the high intensity interval training methodology puts forth. It has been shown to have numerous effects on the aerobic and cardiovascular system. Two of these benefits are an increase in the use of aerobic metabolic processes through the use of mitochondria within muscle cells to produce energy and a significant increase in aerobic capacity (even when compared with long and steady aerobic workouts that are traditionally advocated).

Metabolic processes are also significantly increased by the performance of high intensity interval training. Resting metabolic rates are increased for the twenty four hour period that follows the performance of high intensity interval training. In addition, there is an increase in both the process of glycolysis and the process of gluconeogenesis (the breaking down of glucose and the formation of glucose, respectively). Many of the metabolic processes that are improved through high intensity interval training play a large role in a number of metabolic disorders such as diabetes. These disorders are often made less severe through the performance of high intensity interval training.

Written by : Alexander Maness, United States (M.S. in Biotechnology )

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice