The researchers of the study are the first to investigate the effect of HIIT on the body fat of people suffering from cardiovascular disease. They presented the results of their study at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.
The researchers reviewed the results of two exercise protocols assigned to 120 cardiac rehabilitation patients at the Mayo Clinic. The exercise program included three sessions per week for 12 weeks. During the first week, all the participants performed a continuous moderate-intensity training, which involved walking or biking. Then, the participants were divided into two groups. Ninety people were asked to switch to HIIT, while the remaining 30 continued moderate-intensity training. People from the HIIT programs had to perform four to eight intervals of one-minute high-intensity exercise and three to five minutes of low-intensity exercise.
At the end of 12 weeks, the participants from the HIIT group lost four more pounds of body fat than the moderate-intensity exercise group. The HIIT group also gained more muscle mass and lost about an inch more off their waists. (Related: Burn fat, build muscle, and better your health in less time with HIIT.)
“These findings support the use of HIIT as an essential treatment tool to improve body composition in heart attack patients enrolled in early outpatient cardiac rehabilitation,” said Yaoshan Dun, lead author of the study. “Our data suggest that, compared to moderate-intensity continuous training, supervised HIIT results in greater improvement in these patients. HIIT may contribute to better outcomes for patients with abdominal obesity who have cardiovascular risk factors or established heart disease.”
While the study specifically analyzed the effects of HIIT on heart attack survivors, healthy individuals can also benefit from this form of exercise. Other studies show that HIIT not only aids in weight loss, but also improves heart health in healthy individuals.
HIIT is not only meant for the gym. This form of exercise can also be performed at home. If you have a few minutes to spare, here are some routines that you can do right in your living room:
Making time for your fitness will benefit your health in the long run. To know more about HIIT and other forms of exercise you can do without going to the gym, visit Slender.news.