HIIT Workouts: Why Are They Popular?

What is one thing that many people want around this time of year? Probably the most universal answer to this question is a hot body. A fit physique also happens to be the one thing many people do not have the time or the patience to work for, especially if they are a student. And with the warmer weather making its debut and summer rolling around, college students across the nation will be thinking about their beach bodies and cursing the days they went for the extra slice of pizza or dining hall cookie.

As college students, it is sometimes difficult to make time for the gym, with schoolwork, classes, and other obligations to attend to. I know many students— including myself— can barely get to their campus fitness center because their schedules are so jammed. Luckily, we live in the era of Youtube and Pinterest, where you can find easy and quick HIIT (high-intensity-interval-training) workouts to do in your dorm room or apartment that will more burn fat and calories in twenty minutes than an hour would do at the gym. Using exercises like crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, and more with the weight of your body proves to be a more efficient workout than any piece of equipment can offer.

According to shape.com, the pros of HIIT workouts certainly outweigh the cons. Charlotte Hilton Andersen wrote for the online version of the fitness magazine that HIIT workouts are productive and straightforward— there is no need for equipment and they get the job done.

“Super-efficient HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour.” said Andersen.

She also speaks to the fact that HIIT workouts require no equipment, which is actually a plus in the long run in terms of results and simplicity.

Andersen writes: “Running, biking, jump roping, and rowing all work great for HIIT, but you don’t need any equipment to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast. In fact, some equipment like dumbbells can make HIIT less effective because you want the focus to be on pushing your heart to its max, not your biceps.”

HIIT workouts that you can do at-home with no hassle have been on-trend for a few years now. There are multiple Youtube channels dedicated to the quick workouts and people who make a living off of teaching them, such as Blogilates (run by media-star Cassey Ho), POPSUGAR Fitness, and Lucy Wyndham-Read.

“Blogilates, which Ho launched in 2009, is currently the number one female fitness channel on YouTube, having clocked up more than 300 million video views and over three million subscribers.” reported CNBC in 2016.

As of 2017, Youtube statistics show thatHo’s pilates channel has 3.6 million subscribers. POPSUGAR Fitness, an extension of global media company POPSUGAR, which covers not only fitness topics but others such as food, fashion, beauty, etc., has taken in 1.2 million subscribers. Lucy Wyndham-Read, a fitness trainer based out of the UK, only has a relatively small following of 124,000 subscribers, some of which are the biggest names in Youtube today.

If you search “HIIT workout” on Youtube, over 1.5 million results come up. The trend has a clear following, and since the workouts range from four to thirty-five minutes, they are perfect for people on-the-go. Fitness is an extremely significant part of self-care, and the results of a steady workout schedule can impact lives in multiple ways. For one, it can increase energy levels, which is good for people on-the-go who need all the energy they can get.

An article by the Mayo Clinic states that exercise will give people more energy to take on their daily activities.

“Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.” said the Mayo Clinic Staff.

Since HIIT workouts are providing quality training and impressive results with no need for a gym membership or expensive in-home equipment, they are ideal for young and busy college students on a budget. But, even if there is no way to get all the healthy foods and sleep you need, there is no excuse for avoiding HIIT workouts that can be done quickly and in the comfort of your dorm.

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