HIIT the Ground Running for Heart Health

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It will come as no surprise that we can associate physical activity with decreased morbidity and mortality. Shocking, right? So why is it that so many Americans fall short in this category? TIME, or lack thereof, is often the excuse as to why we can’t fit it into our schedule.

Have no fear…we may just have a solution.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and comprises a high-intensity activity for a short period (20 seconds to a few minutes), followed by a low intensity (recovery) activity for a similar amount of time. Then you repeat until exhaustion. Some workouts last 5 minutes, while others can go for 10-20. It really depends on what type of shape you are in, how long your intervals are, and how many repetitions you can do.

What are the health benefits?

  • Studies show that this type of exercise can increase endothelium-dependent dilation more effectively than traditional moderate continuous exercise as it increases blood flow.
  • We associate HIIT with greater improvement in physical fitness, for people suffering from cardiovascular disease, as compared to moderate continuous training. Translation: you get in better shape.
  • HIIT appears to benefit people after a stroke in their functional and cardiovascular health. The increase in blood flow brings much needed nutrients to the damaged areas of the brain, and debris to be eliminated from the body.
  • HIIT can help prevent cancer AND it assists cancer treatment by reducing symptom burden and preventing increases in cancer-related fatigue.
  • Evidence shows that HIIT improves innate immune function, making you less susceptible to infection.
  • They have shown this type of training to increase plasma Vitamin D levels (a common nutrient deficiency in the United States).

How to HIIT!

  1. Get a trainer.

    Most trainers are familiar with this type of exercise program and will accommodate you if you have certain physical limitations. Google someone near you or find someone at the local gym. Try it…if one trainer doesn’t resonate with you, find another. There are tons of options out there.

  2.  Join Crossfit.

    Crossfit combines teamwork and camaraderie with physical activity. It is fun and an amazing HIIT workout. Each day is different, and it guarantees an incredible workout.

  3. Bodyweight exercises.

    Incorporate body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and lunges during your outdoor walk. The walk could be your recovery and the high-intensity activity could be a bodyweight movement.

  4. Simply add a sprint to your stroll.

    Alternate between a 20 second sprint and a 20 second walk. Adjust time as needed but increase the reps and the duration.

**Always check with your doctor to make sure you are clear to perform these activities.

And remember, the body requires proper fuel for quality workouts. Eat nutrient dense, whole Paleo foods to keep your energy balanced.

If you need help to get started, take advantage of a free consultation with one of our health coaches. They can give you the support and guidance you need to take back your health.

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