Here are all the benefits associated with a HIIT workout—and you only need to do it three times a week.

Zee Krstic
January 14, 2019

Anyone dealing with diet-related issues, including obesity and high blood pressure, will have heard of the added risk of developing type 2 diabetes from their healthcare provider. More often that not, people are asked to improve their diet and create an exercise routine to address weight-related issues, including lowering risk of developing the disease—but which kind of exercise should you focus on?

According to research conducted by professionals at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark,  high-intensity interval training (otherwise known as HIIT) is the most effective form of exercise for reducing type-2 diabetes risk as it's associated with lowering blood glucose levels to healthy levels.

The 2015 study showed that completing a short (10-minute) HIIT routine just three times a week was able to help even elderly and non-active volunteers dramatically reduce their blood glucose levels in just eight weeks time. Furthermore, researchers said that "significant abdominal fat mass losses were seen" in those who completed the three HIIT routines each week over the eight-week span itself.

And even though HIIT workouts are much shorter than other forms of fitness, a 2016 study found that three 20-minute HIIT sessions could provide the same benefits of ten hours of standard exercise over a two-week period. The key to HIIT workouts is to get your heart rate up to its maximum capacity, which tends to also increase your metabolic rate anywhere from two to a whole 24 hours after you complete your workout.

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HIIT workouts may be the best way to ensure you're maximizing the benefits of a regular exercise routine, and in addition to effectively reducing blood sugar levels, this kind of fitness has also recently been shown to help you age better. A study published in the European Heart Journal suggests that just three HIIT workouts a week could help optimize your body's telomerase supply, which is a key component in the aging process.

As we all focus on establishing new fitness routines and revamping our diets in the new year, evidence suggests that trying a few HIIT classes could be even more beneficial than hitting the gym every weeknight this month.

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