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High intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) are generally considered a means to shed extra pounds. But HIIT has more benefits than just weight control. This workout routine improves overall health more than any other fitness plan. In this post, we discuss in detail, the benefits of HIIT on heart health and related conditions.

Effects of HIIT on Cardiovascular Health

HIIT fitness is labelled as the “best therapy” for heart patients. Research shows that HIIT improves patient compliance and is linked to healthy cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes.[1]

HIIT reduces plasma cholesterol levels and the incidence of plaque formation. The risk of atherosclerosis decreases by incorporating daily interval training workouts. A daily exercise program also improves heart rate and decreases stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped out by the heart with every beat). Left ventricular health improves significantly as does the cardiovascular profile.

Are HIIT Workouts Safe for Patients With Coronary Heart Disease?

Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in the modern world, especially in the US. It constitutes the formation of plaque in the arteries that provide oxygen to the heart. It can lead to immediate death. HIIT training is reported to increase oxygen consumption in patients with coronary heart disease. It also aids in its recovery and helps patients with heart failure. Research shows HIIT workouts to be safe and effective in the rehabilitation of coronary heart disease and heart failure.[2]

The Effects of HIIT on High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is associated with high cardiovascular morbidity. High blood pressure is effectively controlled through an interval training exercise program. HIIT exercises are important for individuals with hypertension and cardiovascular risks. 12 weeks of intermittent fat burning exercises positively impact diastolic and systolic pressure in hypertensive patients. A HIIT workout routine also improves cardio-respiratory fitness and decreases the risk of hypertension.

The Effects of HIIT on High Cholesterol

Raised cholesterol levels lead to cardiovascular disease. High intensity training lowers body fat and raises HDLs (high density lipoprotein). HDLs are good fats that keep cholesterol under control.

Impact of HIIT on Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome involves a variety of problems like high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, decreased HDL (good fat) and increased waist size. HIIT decreases the risk of stroke, heart attacks and cardiac arrest. HIIT workout plans also improve blood lipid profiles.[4]

High intensity interval training workouts are superior to steady workouts in improving endothelial function, insulin sensitivity, and sympathetic markers in hypertensive patients.[3] HIIT is the workout plan of choice for heart health.


1. Shiraev T1, Barclay G. Evidence based exercise – clinical benefits of high intensity interval training. Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Dec;41(12):960-2.

2. Guiraud T1, Nigam A, Gremeaux V, Meyer P, Juneau M, Bosquet L. High-intensity interval training in cardiac rehabilitation. Sports Med. 2012 Jul 1;42(7):587-605. doi: 10.2165/11631910-000000000-00000.

3. Emmanuel Gomes Ciolac1,2 High-intensity interval training and hypertension: maximizing the benefits of exercise? Am J Cardiovasc Dis. 2012; 2(2): 102–110.

4. Musa DI1, Adeniran SA, Dikko AU, Sayers SP. The effect of a high-intensity interval training program on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in young men. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Mar;23(2):587-92. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318198fd28.

Author's bio: As a doctor and a nutritionist, Dr. Usman has a deep insight into all aspects of writing related to health and wellness. He is a regular contributor to several journals related to fitness, nutrition, health and medicine having produced thousands of quality articles, blog posts and ebooks over the years.

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