If you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, short HIIT workouts can provide you with just as much benefit as longer and more traditional ones. A growing body of research is showing that it is indeed possible to gain just as much health and weight loss benefit from exercising for a short amount of time, when using the right technique.
What Goes Into Short HIIT Workouts
Short HIIT workouts are a matter of timing and intensity. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. As the name suggests, your workout is broken down into intervals, some of which are at a high intensity. Therefore, an example might involve sprinting as fast as you can for a few minutes before taking a few minutes to stroll or even rest. Then, you’d get right back into sprinting again.
The idea of the short HIIT workouts is to pour as much as you can into the high intensity portion. The result is that even if your workout lasts only fifteen minutes, you could still gain as much benefit as you would from a half hour or so.
The Science Behind HIIT Workouts
New research has recently been added to the wide body of evidence supporting short HIIT workouts. It helped to shed more light on the way that these types of exercises work on the cellular level. More specifically, it works with the mitochondria part of the cell, the energy centers.
Prior studies have revealed that exercise helps to create new mitochondria while supporting the healthy function of existing mitochondria. Even a single session of short HIIT workouts can help to alter the mitochondrial function. This has the potential to promote beneficial cellular changes with each new session, burning through fat and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
Preventing Cellular Damage
The researchers discovered that hydrogen peroxide levels change in different parts of the mitochondria following even short HIIT workouts. Hydrogen peroxide is a molecule used in the reactive oxygen species, which is a signalling process inside the cell. Though too much can be damaging, these workouts showed appropriate amounts that help to benefit the metabolic function instead of causing damage.
This means that short HIIT workouts can help to promote healthy and beneficial metabolic function without harming the cells. When your goal is to burn fat, a healthy metabolism can be your best friend. It is, after all, the processes within your body that use energy in order to function. The more energy you use, the more you need to fuel it, in the form of calories and body fat!