High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise in which you engage in a short exercise period followed by a short rest period and then repeat. What makes HIIT different from continuous moderate exercise (CME) like running or a step class is that it is performed for a shorter duration but at a faster rate with breaks for partial recovery. HIIT improves insulin resistance, lowers blood pressure, reduces body fat and raises HDL-cholesterol levels, shifts in metabolic rate and gains muscle mass.
Some HIIT news to share:
- A study with 55 to 71 year old patients with chronic heart failure was performed to see if a HIIT approach could be safely and effectively used with this group. The results showed increased aerobic capacity in all patients; researchers also found that quality of life was improved and no adverse effects were seen.
- Of the risk factors for those with metabolic syndrome**, low aerobic capacity is the strongest predictor of death. HIIT improves this capacity by as much as double that of CME.
HIIT is safe if an individual’s conditioning is gradually built up and the joints are appropriately strengthened to tolerate the stresses. The benefits of HIIT on health and conditioning are significant and the higher intensities can be exhilarating, enhancing participant’s enjoyment and adherence.
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** Having metabolic syndrome means you have three or more disorders related to your metabolism at the same time from among these:
- Obesity–For a metabolic syndrome diagnosis, obesity is defined by having a waist circumference of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women
- Increased blood pressure–meaning blood pressure of 130/85 mmHg or more
- High blood sugar level–with a fasting blood glucose test result of 100 mg/dL or more
- High cholesterol–with triglycerides of 150 mg/dL or more and HDL less than 40 mg/dL for men or less than 50 mg/dL for women