Enhance Your Health

Health Tip of the Week: High Intensity Interval Training

Next to eating healthy foods, the next best and greatest thing you can be doing for your health is exercise.  As we all know, exercise is good for you and is a valuable tool for maintaining body weight. Additionally, major benefits include increased metabolism (burn more calories while at rest), increased bone density, greater flexibility, improved cardiovascular function, muscle tone and lastly, exercise helps to negate the effects of stress on the body.

As I have mentioned in previous columns, the latest research shows that the most effective form of exercise is high intensity interval training (HIIT). Studies show that the endless cardio sessions of long distance running, biking or swimming are just less effective ways of becoming healthy and some studies show continuous aerobic training to have negative effects on overall health. Before all of my runners and bikers get into an uproar, please take in account that most endurance athletes participate in the endurance forms of exercise because they enjoy doing them and treat them as sport. And it doesn’t mean you are not healthy.

The HIIT studies show that interval training happens to have a more profound effect on the body’s systems and can be a more effective tool for enhancing metabolism and cardiovascular health.  If you are an endurance athlete HIIT should be used in conjunction with your long distance training.

So what is HIIT and how do you do it? Basically, HIIT is performing intervals of exercise in short bursts followed by short rests and repeated for period of time. So, for instance, you would run, bike or swim as hard as you can for 20-30 seconds and then rest for 10-15 seconds and repeat. The amount of time of your exercise session is would depend on how well your fitness level progresses.

Studies show that even 5 minutes of interval running is the equivalent of 40 minutes of jogging.  So, it actually doesn’t take much time.  You can even perform HIIT with calisthenics or weight training exercises.

Set up a routine of 4 different exercises and perform all four exercises in a row with little to no rest between exercises and then do jumping jacks or jog in place for 30 seconds.  Rest 20 -30 seconds and repeat the circuit 3-4 times.  Simple right?  Well, it gets even simpler.

The words High Intensity Interval Training can be intimidating for those who don’t exercise or have a lot of weight to lose. Well take heart, a university in Japan has concluded that repeated intervals of three minutes of fast walking followed by three minutes of slow strolling will help to maximize the benefits of walking.

As reported on by the NY Times: “In their original experiment, the results of which were published in 2007, walkers between the ages of 44 and 78 completed five sets of intervals, for a total of 30 minutes of walking at least three times a week. A separate group of older volunteers walked at a continuous, moderate pace, equivalent to about a 4 on the same exertion scale.  After five months, the fitness and health of the older, moderate group had barely improved. The interval walkers, however, significantly improved aerobic fitness, leg strength and blood-pressure readings.”

HIIT can be applied to all forms of exercise and at all levels of age and fitness.  You just have to get out there and do it!!

Thought for the Week

There are really only two requirements when it comes to exercise. One is that you do it. The other is that you continue to do it. ~ Jennie Brand-Miller

Chiropractic Thought for the Week

“The wonders of chiropractic are so simple... You could discuss the whole thing in one sentence.  The correction of the subluxation allows the body to work at its full potential, in the same way that the actual subluxation, by its very presence, inhibits the function of the body.” ~ Reggie Gold, D.C.

(The subluxation is the misalignment of the vertebra.  The misalignment interferes with nerve flow by irritating and disrupting nerve impulses.  Nerve flow controls every function of the body and without proper nervous system function, you cannot be healthy. ~ Dr. J.Z)


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