High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that involves short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. This type of workout has gained popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in improving overall fitness and health. In addition to its benefits for weight loss and muscle gain, HIIT has been found to have several benefits for heart health.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Function
HIIT has been shown to improve cardiovascular function by increasing the heart’s ability to pump blood and improving blood vessel function. According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, HIIT can improve arterial stiffness, a common indicator of cardiovascular disease.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. HIIT has been found to be effective in reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension. A study published in the Journal of Hypertension found that HIIT reduced systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 4 mmHg.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for several chronic diseases, including heart disease. HIIT has been found to reduce inflammation markers in the body. A study published in the Journal of Physiology found that six weeks of HIIT reduced levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, in overweight and obese adults.
4. Increases Aerobic Capacity
Aerobic capacity refers to the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise. HIIT has been found to increase aerobic capacity, which can improve overall fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that six weeks of HIIT improved aerobic capacity by 13% in healthy adults.
5. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin resistance is a risk factor for several chronic diseases, including heart disease. HIIT has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that 12 weeks of HIIT improved insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese adults.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has several benefits for heart health. It improves cardiovascular function, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, increases aerobic capacity, and improves insulin sensitivity. Incorporating HIIT into your exercise routine can be an effective way to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart disease.