Low-intensity interval training can be as effective as HIIT, but only if you spend more time exercising.
As published byThe conversation
While we know that exercise is important to our overall health, and more is usually better, many of us do not have hours per day to devote to exercise. Perhaps this is the reason why fitness regimes like high intensity interval training (HIIT) have become so popular in recent years.
HIIT not only promises to improve overall health and fitness, but it can also be achieved in a short time. But HIIT intensity may not be for everyone – which is why slower, less intense workouts have started to gain popularity.
HIIT requires you to working “hard” for short periods 30-45 seconds, interspersed with cool-downs of about five minutes, repeated about 2-4 times. Because it’s done at such a high intensity, you can have a successful workout in as little as 15-20 minutes. It can even be done by older people and those who suffer from chronic illnesses, such as Diabetes.
While it might seem easy, those 30 seconds can seem like an eternity if you train as hard as possible. Simply put, HIIT can hurt – and it might not be right for everyone.
Although this is rare, in my lab we have seen people get sick, feel weak, and – very rarely – pass out during a single 30-second âsuper-maximalâ exercise. While the benefits still outweigh the risks for most people, HIIT has also been linked to greater risk of injury.
Corn LIIT (low intensity interval training) has become a recent exercise phenomenon that claims you can still achieve fitness results similar to HIIT, but with a lower risk of injury. Although there is currently no research on the effects of LIIT workouts, the idea is that you still perform interval exercise, but these exercises are performed at a lower intensity and with a shorter rest time between. both.
Given the lack of research, to find out if LIIT works, we need to look at studies that have compared the effects of doing the same amount of exercise, but over different periods of time – either short, intense workouts or workouts. long and slow. Research suggests that body fat is reduced by similar amounts between high and low intensity exercise, but higher intensities improved overall fitness and blood pressure, suggesting greater long-term health benefits.
Long, slow endurance training (such as walking and running) and HIIT have been shown to be effective improve aerobic fitness (heart and lung function) in healthy adults. Although HIIT generally leads to greater increases in aerobic capacity, high and low intensity workouts can benefit heart health. But because HIIT is so intense, research suggests quitting about three days between HIIT workouts to allow your body to recover.
People with bone and joint problems may not benefit from HIIT due to the heavy load it requires. And although HIIT is reasonably safe for people with heart problems, it is important to know that heart attacks are five times more likely after HIIT training than other types of exercise in high risk heart patients. However, the benefits of any exercise often outweigh the risks, both in healthy people and in those with health problems.
To slow down
For these reasons, LIIT claims to be a compromise that mixes elements of HIIT and traditional endurance training. The goal is to use interval training but reduce the intensity and lengthen active periods, making it easier for people looking to get in shape or stay active. While HIIT focuses on achieving explosive, intense movements quickly with a long recovery – like burpees, sprints, or box-jumps until you feel like you can’t take it anymore – a LIIT workout could. also incorporate these movements, but would focus more on form than exhaustion and with shorter intervals between exercises.
But is LIIT as effective as HIIT? If you simply replace a brief HIIT session with one of lower intensity, it probably won’t be more effective, unless the session is longer to compensate for the loss in intensity. See intensity and time as a compromise. If you reduce the intensity of the exercise you are performing, you should increase the duration of the exercise to burn a similar amount of calories.
So if your usual HIIT session lasts 10 to 15 minutes, an equivalent LIIT session might need 30 minutes to be as effective – and a continuous jogging session might last 60 minutes.
The amount of calories used during HIIT, LIIT, or endurance workouts is about the same if you factor in this intensity-duration tradeoff. It wasn’t just shown in several studies, but also demonstrated by myself on live tv, where I showed 30 minutes of continuous cycling and a 90-second âall-outâ cycle sprint, used similar amounts of energy.
Endurance fitness is an excellent marker of health and will improve with all these types of exercise – but HIIT is more likely to improve muscle power. Since none of the above targets muscle strength and mass, if you are doing HIIT, LIIT, or any other type of endurance training, consider adding some type of training. strength-based resistance training also.
The most important point to remember is that getting enough exercise is important for overall health. British government advises adults of all abilities get 150 minutes of continuous exercise per week – or 75 minutes of intermittent style exercise per week. When it comes to exercising based on HIIT or LIIT, the choice is yours. Try both, and even consider switching up your routine. Exercise is only effective when done regularly, so the activity you enjoy the most is probably the right exercise for you. – The conversation / Rappler.com
Bradley Elliot is Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Westminster.