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10 Awesome Health Benefits of Interval Training

Interval training is becoming more and more popular every month because it allows you to get the maximum benefits for short bursts of exercise. On average, this type of workout lasts 30 minutes and you should do it five days per week.  Throughout the workout, you will switch between periods of rest and periods of intense exercise. This ratio of exercise provides 10 key health benefits that can have a profound effect on you and your body.

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Improved insulin resistance

Insulin sensitivity describes the ability of your cells to respond to insulin. How your body tolerates carbohydrates and how they affect the body’s ability to mobilize fatty acids is dependent on insulin sensitivity. Another consideration is that it is harder to lose fat when your insulin levels are high. This is due to the fact that insulin is a type of storage hormone.

Targets stomach fat

In general, there is no way to target a specific area of fat on your body. For example, you will not lose fat if you only do situps. However, interval training does change how your body mobilizes and stores fat by affecting your hormone profile. When you perform this type of exercise, you lose fat all over your body, but it stimulates the body to release abdominal fat at a higher proportion.

Afterburn effect

After you complete an interval training session, your body uses an increased amount of oxygen to alleviate the oxygen debt. This increased oxygen usage works to return homeostasis in the body. When your body is using this extra oxygen, it is also burning more calories. Further calories are burned to replenish fuel stores and repair muscles. This is the afterburn effect, and in a nutshell, it means that your body continues to burn calories at a higher level even after your workout is over. The more intensive your intensity bursts, the more afterburn calories burned.

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Improved VO2 Max

Your V02 max is how well the body is able to use and transport oxygen when you are exercising. The greater the VO2 max, the better your level of physical fitness. This will help you to exercise for longer periods and anyone can improve this with interval training, including beginner athletes.

Boosting good hormones

To burn the most calories, you need to create a favorable metabolic environment and interval training can help you to accomplish this. When you are performing this type of exercise, several hormonal changes happen in the body. After just 10 minutes of starting your workout, testosterone levels and growth hormone levels increase. Both of these hormones work to promote the growth of muscle and burn fat in both men and women. The secretion of these hormones increase as you continue to increase the intensity of your workout.

Create new mitochondria

Each cell has a mitochondria and this component works as the cell’s powerhouse. These components produce energy by taking the carbohydrates and fat that you ingest or that your body stores and turning it into an energy form that your body can utilize. Your body uses calories most efficiently when you have more mitochondria. When you perform interval training, your body works to create new mitochondria because it makes your body demand that more energy be produced.

Burn more fat

Compared to regular cardiovascular exercise where you maintain a steady pace for a prolonged period of time, interval training burns more fat in less time. You are burning fewer calories, but more fat. Studies that have looked at comparing endurance training and interval training find that more subcutaneous fat is burned with interval training. In fact, when scientists adjust the calories so that the calorie burn is the same, interval training burns nine times more fat than endurance training does.

Building more muscle

It is often said that people cannot burn fat and build muscle simultaneously, but interval training appears to bust this myth. You will not significantly bulk up when you use interval training alone, but it can help to build lean muscle mass. The lean muscle mass will be more visible because you are burning fat at the same time. One study shows that 12 weeks of interval training work to reduce total body fat while also increasing lean muscle mass.

This has a double benefit effect because as you build more lean muscle mass, your resting metabolic rate will increase. This means that all throughout the day, you will be building more calories naturally and without any additional exercise. In effect your capability to lose weight quickly increases greatly.

Increased fat oxidation capacity

When you exercise, several stress adaptions and chemical reactions occur in your body. This means that your body is changing from the inside out and interval training causes significant changes. These changes work to ensure that your body is burning the maximum amount of fat. In just two weeks of this type of exercise, the body increases its fat burning ability so that as you continue to exercise, the fat burning effects are cumulative and you burn more fat as you increase your interval training fitness.

Non-health benefits

In addition to the above, interval training presents a few other benefits that are not health-related. These are lifestyle benefits that work to do things like save you time since your workouts do not have to be as lengthy to get maximum results. These include:

a.      Time efficiency: You get the maximum benefits from interval training in just 20 to 60 minute sessions. This is about a third of the time that endurance training requires.

b.      Adds variety: You can incorporate several different things into interval training to keep it interesting.

c.      No equipment: You can get a total workout without investing in any exercise equipment.

When you perform interval training, you are able to reap maximum benefits of exercise with lesser time. These benefits can improve your overall health and the benefits are cumulative, meaning that they get even better over time. Because of this, you can start slowly and build up your stamina and abilities while enjoying the benefits of such exercises from day one. If you are dreaming of having a leaner meaner healthier body with improved energy levels and higher levels of confidence then it is worth considering interval training as an important element of your weight loss strategy.