Find out why high intensity interval training keeps you feeling young and powerful!
Any form of exercise is good for you, but, are you getting the most out of your workouts? Better yet, how are your workouts helping you to remain flexible and able bodied as you age?
Whether you’re crunched for time, craving a rewarding workout, or looking to maintain your youth - it may be time to try HIIT.
What is HIIT?
You may be asking yourself, what the heck is HIIT? High-intensity interval training (HIIT), is a type of workout that features bursts of intense exercise which are broken up by recovery periods. Trust me, you'll be very thankful for the recovery periods.
A HIIT workout could involve sprinting, biking, or other body weight exercises. They are time efficient and usually last around 20 minutes, not including a warm-up or cool-down. The key is to balance bursts of intense work with rest periods.
HIIT exercises are fast, vigorous, and result in some incredible health benefits. For example, HIIT workouts are known to burn more calories than other workouts, like jogging or swimming. Also, due to their intensity, HIIT workouts can boost your metabolism for hours following your workout.
So, how does HITT slow your aging?
How HIIT Keeps you Young
01. Gives you Energy
Have you been feeling sluggish lately? Maybe a bit more inclined to take that afternoon nap? One prominent sign of aging is the loss of overall energy, which could be a result of sleeplessness or medical and emotional challenges.
HIIT can benefit you at a cellular level, but what exactly does that entail? To put it simply - these workouts will boost your cell’s mitochondrial capacity, meaning that your cells will be able to take in more oxygen and produce more energy. Not only will you be energized for your workout, HIIT will keep you energized throughout the day. This means minimizing your daily strain and maximizing your productivity, no naps needed. Let’s work smarter, not harder.
According to recent research, due to the increase in mitochondrial capacity, HIIT can reverse signs of age-related decline within cells. Yes, you heard that right. HIIT will energize you and reverse aging at a cellular level. No matter what age you are, your body will love this workout.
02. Increases Mobility
Another sign of aging is slowed or limited movement, usually due to a lack of exercise. This can cause thinning cartilage and a decrease in joint lubricating fluid. To combat that, HIIT makes your muscle cells work more efficiently, like how they operated when you were younger! This is because your cells are adjusting calcium regulation to compensate for higher energy production.
HIIT helps your body’s ability to give maximum effort within a short period of time. Practicing this form of exercise will allow you to have the energy to move, and the more you move now, the more mobile you will be as you age.
03. Leads to Weight Loss
A busy schedule can come with a lot of distractions and responsibilities. Sometimes it may be hard to make time for yourself, or get in a good workout. If you struggle with maintaining your weight, HIIT can be an efficient way to achieve fat loss in men and women. Studies on HIIT and its benefits concluded that test subjects(overweight men and women) improved their overall body composition through HIIT programs. While there are a few, slight variations in the benefits for men and women, the results of HIIT are overwhelmingly positive. HIIT benefits include improvements in body fat percentage, total cholesterol, oxygen uptake, and body composition.
It is crucial to maintain a healthy weight to live an active, long life... but what does a healthy weight look like? It is truly different for every individual and can be estimated by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women - you can calculate yours here! Another helpful calculation is body fat percentage. If you carry too much visceral fat, you could be at risk of heart disease, stroke, and more.
After calculating your BMI, you can use HIIT to achieve and maintain a healthy weight according to your body type and lifestyle! Knowing and achieving your healthy weight will help you to reduce common risks associated with aging, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
04. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
As you age, it’s not uncommon for your blood sugar to increase. Risks of high blood sugar include heart and blood vessel disease, poor kidney function, and nerve damage. The long term effects of which may result in cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and more. However, HIIT can help to mitigate these risks.
If you are diabetic, or just looking to reduce insulin resistance, you may find this high intensity exercise to be very rewarding. In a 2014 study, diabetics saw an immediate reduction in blood glucose following a HIIT session. Even if you aren't struggling with diabetes, it is important to reduce insulin resistance to lessen the threat of heart disease.
The bottom line is that HIIT provides you with stable blood sugar by making your body more sensitive to insulin, therefore lowering blood glucose levels. Through adding HIIT into your workout routine, your blood sugar levels will trend lower over time, allowing you to live a long and healthy life.
05. Creates Routine
We all want to be active, but it’s not always easy. Sticking to an exercise regimen is hard for many. However, keeping up with a routine and moving your body will help to keep you mobile and youthful. Consistency is key, short term benefits will quickly diminish if you don’t stick to a routine! Not only will you feel great, a solid workout routine will reduce your stress levels. Sounds like a win-win to me.
HIIT is known to turn people into regular exercisers. In fact, Mayo Clinic noted that “in the interval walking study, every single participant kept up with the goal of four interval walking workouts a week for four months”. HIIT is so popular because it is time efficient and allows for rest periods. You will definitely get hooked on HIIT, especially if you are looking to establish a sustainable and productive routine!
Check out more about routines in Rachel’s post, “Why it's Tough to Stick to a Workout Routine”, over on the Milsner Fitness blog!
06. Regulates Blood Pressure
A massive role in maintaining your youth is taking preventative measures. For example, a lack of physical activity could lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is known to cause blood clots in the arteries leading to your brain, often resulting in a stroke. Annually in the U.S., approximately 795,000 individuals suffer from strokes, the most impacted age group being individuals 65 and over. The impact of which can include paralysis, speech and vision issues, and memory loss.
However, HIIT was found to be very effective in preventing the risk of strokes. HIIT reduces blood pressure, working in a similar fashion to drugs prescribed for hypertension. Why add more pills to the cabinet when HIIT can provide you with a natural alternative? This method of training could be the key preventative measure in maintaining your youth.
While HIIT classes have a variety of benefits, you should still maintain variety within your exercise routine. Begin incorporating HIIT into your routine if you haven’t already, but remember: everything in moderation.
At Milsner Fitness, we offer a diverse range of classes, including HIIT workouts! This way, you can get the low down on HIIT while still trying other types of workouts. Get your first week of Milsner Fitness for free here!