Key benefits of HIIT workouts

If you are someone who is looking for an alternative to the gym or perhaps looking for a different kind of workout, then consider taking up HIIT (High Intensive, Interval Training).

Having read so many great articles on HIIT – it is easy to understand why it is such a great exercise.


Compared to other non-machine or equipment-based exercises, High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves a series of exercises with your full effort for short bursts of 30 to 60 seconds and followed by an even shorter period of rest.

So why do exercise enthusiasts enjoy HIIT? Well, here are the 6 cases for it:

1) Great for weight loss

weight loss

Now if you have put on a few pounds (stone if you are living in the UK), HIIT can help you lose weight and burn calories.

One of the main selling points of HIIT is that you can burn many calories in a short time. With the modern lifestyle being super busy, cutting out time to exercise can be tough. HIIT workouts cater to people who want an effective workout and do not have a lot of time to spare.

In a recent study compared with weight training, biking, and running, 30 minutes of HIIT burned 25-30% more calories. During this study, the HIIT repetition consisted of 20 seconds of high intensity, followed by 40 seconds of rest.

2) Good for your mental health

Home based HIIT

Recently an article in 2-Minute Medicine highlighted a study that doing HIIT workouts could be beneficial for your mental health because of their findings in an exercise assessment:

  • In a systematic review and meta-analysis, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) led to small improvements in overall mental wellbeing compared to other forms of exercise in healthy populations and those with physical illnesses.
  • Compared to no exercise, those who participated in HIIT had moderate improvements in mental wellbeing, depression severity, and perceived stress compared to inactive individuals.

Note; if you are planning to do a HIIT workout as part of your exercise regime, always check your GP before proceeding to do this exercise activity.

3) Ideal for senior adults

If you are turning 60 or have reached this milestone age this year, note that HIIT workouts are a good exercise to try if do not want to train in the gym anymore.

Now as we age, memory is one of the things that tend to decline – well by adding HIIT into your fitness routine, you stand to gain a memory boost.

This evidence was backed up by a study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, as little as six weeks of high-intensity training (done for 20 minutes at a time) improved the 95 participants’ recall skills. Specifically, they found it improved their high-interference memory—the kind that helps you tell two similar things or memories apart.

Note, please consult your GP before embarking on a HIIT exercise regime.

4) A convenient exercise

HIIT can sometimes sound a bit intimidating to new gym-goers. However, HIIT is not just for hard-core fitness junkies.

An advantage of HIIT is that you can tailor and customize it to your needs and abilities, and you can do HIIT at home.

By changing the time intervals and intensity of training, it can be entirely approachable for all levels of fitness.

The goal of HIIT is to get your heart rate pumping, and how this happens will look different for everyone.

5) Help control your blood sugar levels


If you are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, perhaps take up HIIT; as evidence from research conducted in Denmark showed that people with Type 2 diabetes had better-controlled blood sugar levels after 12 weeks of HIIT.

Read: High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Glycaemic Control and Pancreatic β Cell Function of Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Furthermore, for people living with diabetes, HIIT workouts could make a huge difference in controlling your blood sugar levels at a healthy rate; in addition, the exercise helps you to maintain energy levels and avoid that mid-afternoon slump.

6) Eases muscle stiffness

Muscle Stiffness Reduction

A recent study in conducted by Paulina Malczynska-Sims Ph.D., from Poland who specialises in Neurology and Psychiatry conducted a study on how HIIT workout could help Parkinson’s disease sufferers, discovered that after 12 weeks of HIIT, the participants’ muscles were less rigid and much more comfortable. This indicates that HIIT could relieve that stiff feeling a lot of people feel in the morning or after long periods of sitting or standing.

Read: Twelves Weeks of Aerobic Interval Training Improves Psychomotor Function in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease—Randomized Controlled Trial

Final Thoughts

HIIT sounds like a great alternative to those who long want to train in the gym – either way you can still reap the excellent health benefits.

Personally, I would do 1 or 2 days of HIIT on my days off from the gym – but that is just my own exercise regime to keep me motivated.