I have a confession:
I hate the treadmill and I’d rather watch paint dry!
It’s boring. It gives you a lackluster “return on effort.” And I’d much rather walk outside in the sunshine than indoors in the artificial light.
(And did I mention it’s boring?!)
Well, it turns out, walking on the treadmill is far from the best exercise too.
And you know what?
I gave up the treadmill over a year ago — and my results have been spectacular!
Now, I still exercise multiple times per week. But no more hour-long, dreadfully boring walks on the treadmill.
Instead, here’s what I do:
I work out with weights for 1 ½ – 2 hrs twice a week. Then I do a quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout two other days of the week. I do a few sun salutations to warm up, then I do three sets of three exercises – 45 seconds on, 30 seconds rest in between, straight through. That portion takes me 11 minutes 15 seconds and my total workout with warmup and stretching is less than 30 minutes!
I’m not perfect, but I accomplish my goal of exercising 4x per week most weeks. And I’m more consistent than when a treadmill was a part of my routine. It helps that I meet my sister – who lives in another state – on zoom for these HIIT workouts. 😉
Compared to the treadmill, HIIT workouts are…
- More fun
- More challenging
- More rewarding
- And have created more noticeable results than the treadmill.
So today, I want to share the top 10 benefits of HIIT workouts to encourage you to replace your treadmill walks with HIIT workouts instead.
Let’s dive in…
1. Burns a metric ton of calories in a short amount of time
This is one of my favorite reasons for HIIT workouts. When you feel too busy and stressed to think, the last thing you want to think about is squeezing in a workout. Of course, exercise helps lower your stress, but this doesn’t matter when the stress from your daily hustle and bustle lifestyle attacks.
Well, that’s where a HIIT workout comes in. You can squeeze in a HIIT workout—and burn 25% to 30% more calories than running, weight training, and biking—in only 10-20 minutes. HIIT workouts, top out at the 30-minute mark. And that’s at the absolute maximum. Most fall in the 10-20 minute timeframe.
2. Keeps your metabolic rate high (even hours after you finish working out)
Who doesn’t wanna burn more calories while relaxing and watching TV?
Well, that’s exactly what a 10-20 minute HIIT workout unlocks for you!
And check this out:
One study from Sports Med Open discovered that HIIT workouts boost your metabolism more than jogging or lifting weights.
Plus, a higher metabolic rate keeps your metabolic health in optimal shape — an unhealthy metabolism (or Metabolic Syndrome) comes with a myriad of dire consequences.
3. Burns more fat because it helps you build muscle
Most people who either want to lose weight or become the healthiest version of themselves make a fatal mistake:
They prioritize cardio (walking, jogging, biking, etc.) over strength training and HIIT style workouts.
Why’s that a mistake?
Well, muscle burns more fat than anything else in your body. Plus, your muscles protect your joints, bones, and even your organs!
As you gain more muscle, you can actually increase your daily caloric intake and “get away” with eating more (without sacrificing your health).
4. Improves your oxygen consumption
Oxygen consumption is your muscles’ ability to use oxygen. Oxygen is the “forgotten nutrient” and the most important “nutrient” for your health and wellness.
Multiple studies have suggested that HIIT workouts produce the same oxygen consumption benefits in a shorter period of time than traditional endurance exercises.
5. May reduce your heart rate and blood pressure
It seems, according to a massive amount of research, that HIIT workouts help reduce the heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese populations.
And check this out:
An 8-week study of HIIT stationary bike workouts found it decreases blood pressure as much as continuous endurance training in adults with high blood pressure.
Folks following the HIIT program in the study accomplished this with three 20-minute workouts per week. The endurance group exercised four times a week for 30 minutes per day.
Now, there’s a catch:
HIIT workouts don’t seem to have the same benefits for folks with a “normal” BMI. (But BMI is a terribly inaccurate measurement anyway.)
6. Can help lower blood sugar
The Journal of diabetes research discovered that following a HIIT workout program for 12 weeks can reduce blood pressure.
A meta-analysis, covering 50 different studies, found that HIIT workouts not only reduces blood sugar, but also improves insulin resistance more than traditional workouts.
…HIIT workouts may be more effective at helping you prevent type 2 diabetes than any other workout modality!
And you know what?
HIIT workouts seem to lower blood sugar across the board—no matter how healthy or unhealthy you may be.
7. Improves your sleep quality
Any kind of consistent exercise program will help you drift asleep with ease (and stay asleep throughout the night). If oxygen is the “forgotten nutrient,” then sleep is the “forgotten nootropic.”
Sleep helps you feel happier (for no reason). It improves your memory. And it’s the best “weight loss pill” you can take.
Well, according to a systematic review from 2021, HIIT workouts may reign supreme for boosting sleep quality.
Researchers found that 16-minute HIIT workouts over an 8-week period “significantly improve sleep quality.” And three HIIT workouts per week results in less time counting sheep in bed and tossing and turning.
8. May help improve your mental health
Another common mistake I see people making in regards to their mental health is only working with the mind—via meditation or therapy.
While these methods are great, it’s also important to work with the body. The more you get “into your body” by exercising, the easier you’ll find it to “get out of your head.”
HIIT workouts appear to be especially effective for depression and stress:
A review from the Journal of affective disorders found HIIT may alleviate depression. And it even shows promise across other mental illnesses, like schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.
An 2019 meta-analysis out of Psychiatry research suggests HIIT workouts are more effective at easing depression than jogging or biking. (Which means, yes, HIIT can give you a better “high” than “runner’s high…” more on this later.)
Then, a 2022 review from the British journal of sports medicine stated HIIT workouts led to “moderate improvements” in wellbeing, depression, and perceived stress.
9. Could boost your memory
All types of exercise are good for your brain, and HIIT workouts are no different.
In fact, a small study from Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism found that HIIT had a greater effect on memory performance in sedentary adults than jogging, biking, and stretching.
Plus, interval exercises (like HIIT) increase blood flow in the brain, which is associated with lower risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Pretty cool, right?
10. HIIT workouts are more fun (and less time-consuming)
Okay, I think this one’s my favorite.
Remember how I said I’d rather watch paint dry than walk on the treadmill for an hour?
Well, HIIT workouts are the exact opposite.
They’re more difficult, yes. They make you sweat more. But you can do them in as little as 10 minutes. And the rush of feel good endorphins you get from a HIIT workout is unmatched.
Plus, HIIT workouts are superior to the treadmill for the 9 other reasons I mentioned above.
So why is this my personal favorite reason?
Because consistency is the most important ingredient for any workout program. Since HIIT workouts are fun (and short), it’s easy to be consistent.
Which supplements aid with your new HIIT program?
If you’re like me and want to take advantage of as many health benefits as possible, then check out the following HIIT-approved supplements:
1. Perfect Magnesium
Magnesium is perhaps the most important mineral in our body. It’s used in hundreds of chemical reactions which keep you in tip-top health. It helps your muscles relax after a tough HIIT workout. And it even helps you manage your glucose, bone strength, and regulates nervous system function.
Plus, HIIT workouts burn through a massive amount of ATP, which prevents muscle soreness and fatigue. And magnesium supports your body’s ATP production.
And Perfect Supplements created one of the most bioavailable magnesium supplements around.
2. Protein supplements
Protein is the only macronutrients you cannot live without. It stimulates muscle growth, which helps you burn more fat automatically.
3. Perfect Aquatic Greens
Everybody knows eating green, leafy vegetables is an important part of your diet, especially if you’re doing HIIT.
They neutralize acidity during exercise and help prevent muscle fatigue by alkalizing your body.
But eating more green, leafy vegetables is easier said than done. You need a TON of veggies to meet your body’s needs.
That’s where a greens supplement like Aquatic Greens comes in:
Every smoothie unleashes 1,500 mg of spirulina and chlorella into your body, which helps you meet your veggie needs faster and easier.
4. Think Jerky
Healthy decisions create an upward spiral of better health conditions. No matter how small they seem. One week of HIIT workouts can lead to making better diet decisions.
And when that happens, Think Jerky makes a delicious (and healthy) beef jerky – which is a great post workout snack!
Grass fed beef jerky is loaded with protein, low in calories, and contains minerals and trace minerals we burn while we work out!
We have four flavors available on our site: Grass-fed Beef Jerky comes in three flavors: Classic, Sesame Teriyaki, and Sweet Chipotle. Or try Free-Range Sriracha Honey Turkey Jerky.
All will delight your taste buds and your body. (Just be careful not to eat too many!)
Hope you enjoy these quick, mega-beneficial workouts as much as I do!