Let's HIIT your goals!

Are If you are a person who finds it hard to get the time to exercise, then we have a good solution for you. 

We all know that regular physical activity and exercise is good for our overall health and well being. Through exercise we are able to build strength and it is great for both managing and preventing diseases such as Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Osteoporosis and Hypertension to name a few. But unfortunately, statistics show that only 50% of adults are meeting the guidelines.

One of the main reasons why people report they aren't able to engage in physical activity is due to time restraints. Sometimes we aren't able to prioritise exercise as life just gets in the way. Work gets busy, the house needs to be cleaned, shopping needs to be done and the list goes on. When this happens, generally exercise gets put on the back burner and our health and well-being can take a negative hit. We place ourselves at a high risk of many diseases and our quality of life can experience a decline. 

Unfortunately we can’t make our days any longer to be able to fit the exercise in, but what we can do is make the most of the time that we do have. The way that we can do this is through a form of exercise known as HIIT. 

What is HIIT Training?

HIIT training stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is a form of exercise that involves a short burst of intense exercise followed by a low intensity recovery period. 

These short bursts of intense exercise will have you working harder than normal, but this will only be for a very short period. Overall, this means that a HIIT session will require much less time and give you the same benefits of a longer lower intensity exercise session. 

What are the benefits?

A good HIIT session can be just as beneficial as a ‘normal’ exercise session. Some of these benefits can include:

  • Completed in a short period of time. 
  • Incorporate different types of training; strength, power, aerobic
  • Does not require large amounts or any equipment 
  • Can be performed anywhere; gym, backyard, living room, footpath 
  • Can be more effective than traditional aerobic exercise 
  • Produces high energy expenditure throughout and long after the session, assisting with weight management. 
  • Reduces your blood pressure lowering your chance of developing cardiovascular disease. 
  • Controls your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of getting diabetes
  • Improves your overall fitness in a shorter time frame

How can you do HIIT?

There are many different ways you can do HIIT training and it can vary depending on a number of reasons. Some of these reasons can include goals, type of training, level of fitness and functional capacity. One thing that will remain the same is it is to be performed at a high intensity. The recommended guideline is to perform it around 80% of your maximum heart rate (max HR = 220 - age). This can be sometimes hard to calculate without a smart watch so another way can be working at an 8 out of 10 (10 being your maximum effort). 

The time of the intervals can also vary depending on the amount of time you have and how hard you want to work. This will vary for each individual so we can provide you with some guidelines that can get you started:

Guide 1: 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest x 10 
Guide 2: 1 minute of work, 30 seconds off x 5, 2 minute rest, repeat x 1 
Guide 3: 80% maximum speed for 30 seconds, 40% maximum speed for 30 seconds x 4, 5 minutes rest, then repeat 

Throughout the period of work you can be doing any form of exercise that can be performed at a high intensity (no tai chi or balance). This can include resistance exercises such as lifting weights, power training such as jumping and sprinting or aerobic exercises such as running. 

Hopefully this blog has provided you with an idea of a form of exercise to do if you are struggling to find the time to exercise or don’t like exercising for long periods. HIIT offers you the opportunity to get some exercise and physical activity in a short amount of time. It still provides you with the health benefits of a normal exercise session, with some studies proving it to be even more beneficial in some areas.

At EP Physio Plus we run some classes with this format and have been seeing some great results.

If you do have any health concerns that may affect your ability to exercise please consult with one of our Exercise Physiologists before giving this higher intensity form of exercise a try. If you have any questions or would like to give some HIIT a try with some more guidance, give us a call on 8682 6665. 

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