By: Kennedy Shelley
Want to get the most bang for your exercise buck? Exercise less.
At least make it more intense for a shorter period of time.
You may have heard of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), but you may not know what it means.
It simply means doing some aerobic exercise for a short time (30-45 seconds) followed by a shorter rest time (15-30 seconds). What’s cool is you only do this cycle 5-10 times. So, you get done with your HIIT in 30 minutes or so.
Now don’t be fooled, I’m not saying that this is easy, but it does have a whole host of benefits.
We all want to feel younger, but what if you could actually biologically get younger?
That is one of the unexpected benefits of HIIT.
The Mayo Clinic studied the effect of HIIT on people over 65, and for all practical purposes, they started getting improvements that made them younger. Better heart performance, lower weight, more muscle, better blood flow etc.
Why was this happening? Increased mitochondria.
This is the power source for the body. This is what converts food into energy for your cells. The healthier mitochondria you have, the more energy.
If you want to feel old, let your mitochondria die off, you will follow.
MAKE MORE MUSCLE
HIIT will start to change your body by giving you more muscle.
As you age, you need more protein because it doesn’t utilize it as well for building muscle. Your body will better utilize your protein to build muscle with HIIT.
It contributes to better protein synthesis according to the Mayo Clinic…so more muscle.
If you want to see why you need more protein, you can see this article in Freedom Health News.
HOW TO DO IT
DO NOT get started by doing some wind sprints. Especially if you are starting from scratch. If you are a couch potato by nature, this is something you are going to have to ease into, and if you have any heart issues you really need to do this with a doctor’s supervision.
But the basic principles are you start off with some warmup time usually 5-10 minutes.
After the blood is flowing you go as hard as you can for 45 seconds – and this is the hard part to figure out. Basically, if you can talk, you are not going hard enough. You can also use a heart rate monitor.
This is not easy. If you are looking at a heart rate monitor, your stopwatch and trying to run down the street you will quickly realize this gets complicated.
But the results are worth it, so keep trying.
Then you slow down and catch your breath for 15-30 seconds. I said slow down, not stop.
Then you do it again.
Start off with five intervals and slowly (think one or two months) build yourself up to ten intervals.
I’m not going to lie, this stinks. It is hard. You do these five times and you will think you are going to hurl.
But here is the good news, you only have to do these three times a week, and it’s only 20-30 minutes of bad, but with great results.
If you have access to an elliptical machine at the gym, this is a great place to learn how to do this. All the key timers are in front of you and you can track your heart rate and resistance very easily.
Again, this is not easy. But don’t do it more than a few times a week. Build up. You don’t want to injure yourself the first day you do it.
And as always, check with your doctor. Especially if you have coronary issues.
This may be the best part. It’s whatever works for you. You can do it on a treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, bike, running or calisthenics. Anything you can do to get you breathless for 45 seconds will work.
Try tapping into HIIT and see if you find a fountain of youth.