HIIT Is A Hit Even With Less Active People, Finds Study

Have you been hesitant about trying HIIT because it looks tough? What if science were to testify that it’s fun?

“But I just don’t have the time!” is something you often hear people say when they talk about joining a gym. It’s probably the most common excuse people use to avoid any kind of physical activity. But then High Intensity Interval Training came into the picture and took that excuse off the table — several studies have confirmed the fat-burning and health benefits of HIIT. A study, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology even revealed that only 10 minutes of HIIT done three times a week can yield meaningful results. There are many different ways you can incorporate HIIT into your workout, such as on the dance floor. It’s not just a fat burner either — HIIT can be used to gain serious muscle mass as well!

However, this style of intense training was seen to be unpleasant, especially for people who aren’t very physically active to begin with. Well, you know what they say — you can’t be sure until you’ve tried it. And recent research seems to suggest that once you do try it, you’ll like it!

About The Study

Matthew Stork, a PhD candidate in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia recently completed his study comparing inactive people’s feelings and enjoyment of HIIT to traditional long-duration aerobic exercise. The study was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in May 2018.

Stork wanted to know how people felt about their high-intensity exercise experience both during and after their sessions. He and his team recruited 30 inactive men and women who had never tried HIIT before. Each participant completed high intensity and traditional moderate intensity exercises on a stationary bike in the lab. They measured how the participants felt on a multi-point pleasure-displeasure scale throughout the activity. Each participant was also asked to log any exercise they completed on their own during the following four weeks.

“We wanted to learn more about people’s perceptions towards HIIT and ultimately determine if even inactive people are willing to do these types of exercises on their own,” said Stork in a press release. “There’s research evidence showing that negative feelings experienced during traditional forms of exercise, like going for a long run, can lower your likelihood of completing that exercise again in the future. We anticipated the same would be true for HIIT, but as it turns out, it’s not so simple.”

What The Study Found

The findings of this study should be a great source of inspiration for those who struggle to fit any sort of exercise into their busy schedules! “We found that participants reported equal levels of enjoyment and preferences for HIIT in comparison to traditional exercise, despite experiencing feelings of displeasure during the higher intensity exercise,” Stork revealed. “Importantly, 79 per cent of participants reported completing HIIT on their own, outside of the lab.”

So no matter what your fitness level is or how busy your calendar is, HIIT is a viable option for everyone!

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