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Improve Heart Health in as Little as 15 Minutes

Workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) have become increasingly common in recent years for a variety of reasons

They don’t take as long as a normal workout (some can be completed in as little as 10 minutes), and evidence shows that they increase fitness, lower blood pressure, and help people better control their blood sugar levels – all of which can help people lose weight and avoid diseases like type 2 diabetes.

A recent study discovered that a form of HIIT exercise known as low-volume HIIT has cardiometabolic health benefits.

In comparison to continuous aerobic exercise, low-volume HIIT could result in comparable – or greater – improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure, and cardiac function (such as a five-mile run).

HIIT is defined as a type of exercise that alternates between low and high intensity intervals. Cycling at an easy pace for a few minutes before rising effort to a high or even optimum level for a brief period of time before returning to an easy pace is an example.

This is then replicated during the workout, with the overall time spent at high-intensity being kept to a minimum. HIIT is divided into several categories based on the amount of exercise needed.

This study’s authors conducted a topical analysis of existing literature on low-volume HIIT and its cardiovascular benefits. Topical reviews offer an up-to-date summary of the most recent knowledge in a rapidly evolving field or area of study.

They looked at 11 studies in total. Low-volume HIIT is described as an exercise in which the total time spent in active intervals (excluding rest periods) is less than 15 minutes.

Overall, they discovered that low-volume HIIT increased a person’s capacity to burn fuel (such as carbohydrate and fat), which is linked to blood sugar regulation – which may help avoid diseases including type 2 diabetes. They also discovered that controlled HIIT is safe in both healthy people and people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Low-volume HIIT has also been shown to enhance the structure of the heart, including chamber enlargement. Each heartbeat increases the amount of blood the heart will pump to the rest of the body.

These advantages were seen in people with and without underlying medical problems, as well as those who had heart failure (where the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly because it has become too weak or stiff).

The fact that low-volume HIIT improves cardiorespiratory fitness is important, according to this study. Even modest changes in heart health have been shown to minimize the risk of adverse cardiovascular conditions like heart attack and stroke by up to 30%.

These findings demonstrate that even a brief exercise will improve wellbeing. The World Health Organization currently recommends that adults engage in 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week.

However, for many people, a lack of time is the primary impediment to exercise. Low-volume HIIT has the ability to be more time-effective while providing equivalent or greater health benefits than longer workouts.

According to my own study, low-volume exercise strategies can be used without feeling too difficult or uncomfortable, which is crucial for keeping people motivated to exercise. It can also benefit people who are inactive or suffer from long-term health problems.

Read more at Science Alert How does HIIT work?

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