HIIT: Benefits of High Intensity Workouts During Treatment

Jun 24, 2022

As you have probably heard time and time again, exercise is beneficial to your overall health. Incorporating exercise or some form of physical activity into your daily or weekly routine can be of tremendous advantage to things such as your mood, your focus, and your sleep. While there are many forms of exercise, research has highlighted the benefits of high-intensity exercise in regard to your mental and physical well-being.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become increasingly popular in today’s society. Perhaps it is the shorter duration that appeals to those with a busy schedule. Maybe it is the fact that many of these types of workouts typically take place in a group setting, and can be somewhat of a social experience. 

What Is HIIT?

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is known to increase heart rate, blood flow, and oxygen levels while being performed. There are various forms of HIIT, including CrossFit, sprints, or even some sports, to name a few. High-intensity training typically involves bouts of extreme effort followed by periods of recovery. Usually, each phase is rather short with the action requiring extreme efforts lasting several times less than the duration of the recovery movement. An example could include thirty seconds of sprinting followed by two minutes of inclined walking. This pattern continues for the length of the workout, resulting in elevated heart rates followed by periods of recovery and lowered heart rates throughout the exercise. 

Benefits of HIIT

One of the benefits of these types of workouts comes from the high intensity followed by lower intensity patterns. The elevation and lowering of your heart rate help train your body to recover quickly and is part of what makes HIIT exercise so advantageous. An additional benefit is what happens after this type of workout is completed. In comparison to other exercises, high-intensity interval training results in your body burning calories and consuming more oxygen, even after the workout is completed. 

With any exercise or physical activity, high-intensity interval training releases endorphins elevating your mood and helping you sleep better at night. While these benefits are inclusive of all exercise forms, perhaps one of the main differences is that these benefits can be achieved in a shorter amount of time.

Typically, HIIT workouts are completed within a shorter duration than their counterparts. For instance, a full HIIT workout is typically completed within 20 to 30 minutes while weight training or cardio workouts usually last closer to 45 to 60 minutes. This being the case, calories burned typically match or exceed the number of calories burned during more traditional workouts.

Additionally, oxygen consumption is greater with high-intensity workouts as you are maxing out frequently throughout the exercise, therefore increasing your oxygen consumption at a higher rate and more regularly. This means you are increasing your oxygen consumption in as little as half the time during a high-intensity workout as you would if you were walking for 45 to 60 minutes on a treadmill.

Achieving all of the same benefits in a fraction of the time is ideal for someone with a busy schedule. For instance, during treatment, there are many activities, meetings, and groups, to attend. It can be easy to neglect physical activity with so many other things going on. It is still important, though, to make time for exercise to ensure you are maintaining your physical and mental health. With HIIT workouts often being approximately half the length of other exercises, this can make them an ideal option.

HIIT workouts like CrossFit often target several different muscles at once. Many exercises are based on compound movements that target major muscle groups. This means more bang for your buck per workout and potentially less need for additional time spent on strength training throughout the week. These compound movements performed at a higher intensity or pace result in better muscular endurance and aerobic endurance, making activities of everyday life a little simpler.

HIIT During Treatment

Patients with substance use disorder (SUD) suffer a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and other lifestyle diseases compared to the general population. High-intensity training has been shown to effectively reduce this risk. Exercises that fall into the high-intensity interval training category are known to improve the circulatory system and heart health, making them a great option for those in or seeking treatment.

With benefits such as shortened time spent working out, lasting positive effects even after the workout is complete, improved oxygen consumption and cardiovascular health, and improved muscle and aerobic endurance, why not consider adding high-intensity interval training into your routine? Consider giving CrossFit or other group HIIT training classes a try – you might enjoy it! 

Physical activity or exercise should be an important part of everyone’s routine. Living an active lifestyle has countless benefits, and is considered an integral part of whole health. High-intensity interval training exercises have specific benefits such as less time spent working out, continued caloric burn and oxygen consumption following the workout, and often a group atmosphere. This form of exercise is also known to reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, which those who have battled addiction tend to be more susceptible to. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer a variety of exercise opportunities, including high-intensity interval training workouts, specifically CrossFit. We facilitate a whole-person approach to treatment and wellness, which includes exercise and physical activity. Let us help you begin your road to recovery. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.