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HIIT exercise and how you can benefit from it!

In the bustling, vibrant markets of Lagos to the tranquil sunrise hues over the calabash creeks in Niger Delta, there’s an undeniable rhythm that pulses through the heart of Nigeria – a rhythm that embodies resilience, energy, and the unique spirit of Naija.

This rhythm could just as well be the pulsating heartbeats of Nigerian women – and men – who, amid their myriad daily tasks, find the time to prioritize their health. One way to keep the tempo high is High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

You might be wondering, “What is HIIT?” Well, imagine a lively jamboree of exercise where, instead of dancing to the beats of Afrobeat, you’re sweating to the rhythm of quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. That’s HIIT!

And it’s not just the latest fitness fad like that Shakiti Bobo dance that trended a few years back; there are substantial benefits to this form of exercise. We’ll delve into five of these benefits today, without making your head spin like a Sapele spinning top.

Efficient and effective

Operational efficiency

If you’ve ever felt like there aren’t enough hours in the day between market runs, work, and handling family duties, you’re not alone.

With HIIT, you can step into the metaphorical ‘other room’ for just 30 minutes and get a full-body workout.

According to similar studies referenced by renowned health institutes like Healthline and Mayo Clinic, HIIT can yield the same physical benefits as moderately intense exercises that take twice as long. It’s like cooking jollof rice and fried rice at the same time but only using one pot!

Boosts heart health

Ten ways to improve heart health. Image: American Heart Association

The heart is like the traditional Ekwe drum; it sets the rhythm for the whole body. HIIT can play a key role in boosting heart health, helping to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

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Mayo Clinic reports that HIIT may be particularly beneficial for controlling high blood pressure, a common health issue that affects many Nigerians. In essence, the more you drum, the better your Ekwe sounds.

Increases metabolic rate

If your metabolism were a party, HIIT would be the life of that party. It revs up your metabolism like a well-tuned danfo engine, even hours after you’ve finished working out.

This increased metabolic rate can lead to more calories burned throughout the day, even when you’re resting or going about your daily activities. It’s like getting extra credit for doing your homework!

Aids in weight and fat loss

Weight loss

If you’re seeking to reduce your body weight, HIIT might just be your new best friend. Not the kind that gossips at the salon, but the kind that helps you achieve your fitness goals.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that, due to the intense nature of the workout, HIIT can aid in reducing body fat and waist circumference. Remember, it’s not about being ‘lepa’ or ‘orobo’, but being the healthiest you.

Improves mental health

top mental health disorders list
Image credit: Verywell Health

Finally, we cannot overlook the mental health benefits. If your mind were a bustling Lagos street, HIIT could help you navigate through with clarity and calmness.

According to HealthLine, regular HIIT workouts can reduce stress, improve mood, and even boost brain health. It’s like the quiet peace you feel when you find that perfect Ankara fabric after a long search.

Bottom line
Now, you might be imagining HIIT as an Ogbanje spirit, seemingly impossible to handle. But worry not.

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The beauty of HIIT is in its versatility. Whether you’re at the energy level of a Nigerian Independence Day parade or feeling more like a slow, peaceful canoe ride along the Cross River, HIIT can be tailored to your current fitness level and gradually increased as you get stronger.

So, are you ready to try out this invigorating jamboree of exercise? Just remember, HIIT is like eating hot pepper soup; you have to start slow and build your tolerance gradually.

Soon, you’ll be enjoying all these health benefits while dancing to the unique rhythm of your heart, Naija style. In the end, the most important thing is that you’re taking steps to stay fit and healthy. After all, health na wealth!

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