shows that body weight training can increase endurance as well as fitness. One variation of body weight training, high intensity
interval training (HIIT), has also been linked
with improved cardiovascular performance and metabolism. This makes HIIT an excellent choice
for those who are overweight, have diabetes, or are prone to cardiovascular disease. Body weight training also aids in preventing osteoporosis
by helping build and maintain the mass and density of bones.
Just 7 minutes of HIIT has been shown to have an impact on cardiovascular fitness, insulin regulation, body weight, body fat, and metabolism.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), HIIT can boost metabolism and accelerate weight loss. During HIIT, a person consumes
more oxygen than in slower, distance-based exercise, therefore causing an increase in post-exercise metabolism. Research has shown one session
of HIIT can burn calories for 1.5 - 24 hours after exercise. This boost in metabolism in combination with increased muscle mass and decreased
body fat, contributes to the efficacy of HIIT as a tool for weight loss.
This type of brief, but intense exercise has also been shown to reduce insulin resistance. One
found that short bouts of high
intensity exercise performed three times per week for 15 weeks was associated with significant reductions in leg, abdominal, and total
body fat, and insulin resistance in young women.
Functionally, HIIT can also improve athletic performance. The
of a study published in 2013 demonstrated that short term, high
intensity sprint intervals are just as effective as traditional endurance training regarding muscle exercise and performance.
All in all, HITT yields many of the same health benefits as distance or endurance training, but you don’t have to exercise as long and most of it
can be done with body weight alone. Although 7 minutes is the minimum amount of time required to attain benefits from HIIT, in order to meet
recommendations for daily physical activity, it is recommended that you repeat the 7 minutes workout 3-4 times. If you’re low on time, try
breaking up each segment throughout the day.
Ready to try it for yourself? Try this 7 minute workout: