A common area of angst for many people seeking to begin a fitness regime revolves around cardiovascular exercise. Training the cardiovascular system is super important. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, helps the body shed excess weight, improves circulation, and can even be a mood lifter.
Today is World Diabetes Day, so I also want to mention that cardiovascular exercise can help burn extra glucose in the body and decrease resistance to insulin…so powerful. I’ve had clients who have gone off of diabetes medication simply from adding moderate cardio exercise to their daily regimes!
To be honest, though, most of my clients loathe the idea of cardio. Long bouts of time spent on the treadmill or elliptical machine sounds boring and painful! To that I say, “I agree, and I have a better idea!”
The heart can be trained efficiently in a very short amount of time by doing quicker, but more intense exercise sessions. A HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training) is highly effective, and the rewards are far-reaching. **Please note: People with diabetic nerve pain or damage should not engage in HIIT workouts.
HIIT EXERCISE BENEFITS:
Effectively strengthens the heart by cycling the body through intervals of reaching maximum heart rate, back down to target heart rate (a percentage of your maximum). Studies suggest this form of cardio to be superior to steady-state cardio in regards to conditioning the heart muscle.
Burns significant calories not only during the session, but long afterwards— due to a little fitness term called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Think: elevated calorie burn/elevated metabolism for hours after a sweat session!
Since HIIT session are only about 20-30 minutes, they are easier to commit to….and boredom is rarely a complaint during an intense HIIT session!
Produces a growth hormone in the body that builds lean muscle mass and decreases fat mass.
I do HIIT sessions 3-4 times a week. The other days, I do yoga, BARRE, or heavy lifting. HIIT workouts can be performed with added weights, or with just body weight. They can be strength-focused, or purely cardiovascular.
These types of workouts are my FAVE….if you are looking for a HIIT workout of your own, reach out to me…I would love to create one specifically for you and your goals.