High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may seem like just another exercise fad given how popular it is among workout enthusiasts and fitness trainers. But more and more research is proving the benefits of HIIT workouts, even when done in the comfort of your own home.
Current guidelines recommend that adults exercise at least 150 minutes every week, performing a moderate aerobic activity that increases heart and breathing rates.
Unfortunately, for many people, committing to 150 minutes a week is a challenge. Gym memberships are expensive, and spending 30 minutes a day for five days a week can seem too time-consuming.
Past research has shown that people who completed three 20-minute HIIT sessions in a lab setting gained the same benefits as those who exercised for the recommended 150 minutes a week.
To test the benefits of HIIT further and see if the same results could be replicated at home, researchers from the Liverpool John Moores University compared a home-based high-intensity interval training (Home-HIT) program to a lab-based program and moderate exercise regime.
32 participants who were clinically obese and had a high risk of heart disease were asked to complete 12 weeks of either a lab-based cycling HIIT program, 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, or the home-based HIIT program consisting of simple body exercises.
All participants did twelve weeks of the exercise program three times a week.
Biomarkers like weight, heart disease risk, glucose regulation, and body composition were measured before and after the programs.
The researchers found that the home-based HIIT program was just as effective as the other two fitness programs.
Although the study draws from a limited sample size, the results provide a promising at-home exercise program that avoids costly gym fees and doesn’t need a lab-control setting to work.
“An exercise regimen, such as Home-HIT, that reduces barriers to exercise, such as time, cost, and access, and increases adherence in previously inactive individuals gives people a more attainable exercise goal and thus could help improve the health of countless individuals,” said Sam Scott, the first author of the study which was published in the Journal of Physiology.
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