What’s all the Hype about HIIT??
While the attention HIIT training is getting is trendy,
research is showing it is for good reason!
Today I will keep this short and to-the-point, just like this type of training is.
How many time have I heard patients say that they just don’t have the time to exercise? Too many times and for a lot of people this may be kind of true. I do understand how busy life is these days! For some, choosing to exercise may literally mean that because you exercise you won’t get as much sleep, or you exercise and don’t take the time to cook a healthy meal, or exercise and don’t take your child to an extracurricular activity. Whether you are working full-time at a job or your job is taking care of your family, most of us have very packed schedules, and it really can be hard to fit in a workout routine. We tell you to exercise; we tell you to get 7-8 hours of sleep; we tell you not to eat processed-convenient foods; we tell you not to rush around all day keeping yourself locked in fight-or-flight.… with all of these things that we should do to be health, time definitely becomes a factor.
What if I told you that you can do less exercise and get more results?!
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is an excellent way to vary your workout routines, save time, and actually even get better health results in certain areas. You only need to do this type of training 2-3 times a week, because as the name states- it is intense! HIIT it burst training where you literally give it your all (with consideration to your level of fitness), followed by a brief rest/recovery period. You can tell you are giving it your all when your heart rate is about 80% or more of your max heart rate, or when you are exercising to the point where you can’t hold a conversation. You can calculate your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220, ie I am 40, so my max heart rate should be 180 so when I’m exercising with HIIT, I should have my heart rate at 144 or greater; when resting, your heart rate should be at less than 50% of the max. There are many different ways to vary this type of training to suit your interest and needs.
So when I hear things like 15 to 30 minutes of interval training 3 times a week is better than 1 hour of jogging on the treadmill, it sure does make me think twice about how I’m spending my time exercising. There are even some HIIT routines that are only 4 minutes!! Plus, like I mentioned earlier, HIIT has more health benefits than your basic cardio!
Here are a few of the health benefits that research has shown are better with High Intensity Interval Training:
· Increased metabolic rates that can last up to 48 hours, ie- improved burn fat,
· Improve stamina,
· Better muscle building and muscle retention, and
· Normalizing insulin and glucose levels in the blood.
HIIT creates a bigger need in the body for oxygen than regular aerobic exercise does, and this change in oxygen demand during the exercise routine that extends into the recovery phase is what is responsible for some of the enhanced health effects. It also more effectively empties the body’s muscles and liver of glucose thereby having more of a positive metabolic effect on your body.
When you start doing HIIT, you want to make sure you are listening to your body with these workouts and gradually work your way up in intensity and duration. Over doing HIIT can stress your hormones, so this is not something that you should say, if a little bit is good, a lot is better. You also should make sure you have been evaluated and cleared by your health care provider to do this type of exercise.
Because HIIT workouts can vary tremendously between person-to-person depending on their level of fitness and exercise goals , I hesitate to give examples. I’d encourage you to look online- google examples of HIIT or read the book Body By Science
, by Doug McGuff, or The Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution
, by Adam Zickerman & Bill Schilley. When you are getting started, try a few different routines to find a good fit for yourself; as your body adapts and gets stronger, you will have to modify the exercise routine, maybe adding time, intensity, or shortening the recovery/rest interval, etc. There are endless options, so right down a few regimens and get started. I personally love doing sprints with my bike or running. But I also like doing a series of burpees, push-ups, squat-jumps, jumping-jacks, sit-ups, etc on my cardio P90X video.
Other types of work outs that you should include in your week besides HIIT are cardio, and stretching and strengthening. Exercise is so very important for our health. It is almost equally as important as nutrition. Just because you are only doing HIIT a few times a week, doesn’t mean you do nothing the other days of the week. 😉
Don’t let “time” get in the way of this important aspect for overall health.
How to get your body in Mint Condition !
My hope with sharing all of this information is that you realize there is SO MUCH that goes into living a healthy, vibrant and full life! At Mint Health
, Dr. Buchert and I have the ability to do more comprehensive testing that looks at oxidative stress in the body, impaired detox, imbalanced gut, detailed hormone testing (stress hormones, sex hormones, and thyroid hormones), food allergy testing, and checking nutrient levels searching for abnormalities in macro nutrients like fats and proteins and micro nutrients like your vitamins and minerals.
Taking a functional medicine approach means we will use a systematic method to peel away the layers of what is going on with you so that incrementally you can get better and BE BETTER. Everything affects everything in our body.
If you are seeing us on the Ob/Gyn days (Tuesday/Thursday), and you want to take a deeper dive than we are able to do with conventional medical workups and recommendations, please click on the ” Get Started
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As always, we wish you happiness and health!