By Nicole Zaybak Drepaniotis, MS, RD, CDN
Do our muscles have memory? They sure do. Do our muscles respond well to routine? They sure don’t! Changing up the duration and type of exercise is an essential piece of the fitness puzzle. To take your fitness to the next level, you may to try an extensively researched exercise method called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT training has been shown to improve fitness levels, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, build lean body mass, and decrease abdominal fat. It also helps your body continue to burn fat faster and more effectively, post exercise for 48 hours.
This type of fitness method combines exercises done at high intensity for a short duration followed by a short recovery period. A lot of HIIT workout exercises are designed to be done in the home or gym and can be done with or without equipment. For guidance and ideas for some HIIT and interval training exercises, you can download these apps: SEVEN MINUTE, SWORKIT, HIIT, 20 POWER. HIIT workouts work best when done twice a week
HIIT is intense and pushing too hard can result in injuries. Always listen to your body. Do what is comfortable; modify exercises to fit your needs. Always consult a physician before starting any new exercise program.
HIIT Interval Training Exercise Example:
Before each workout, start with a 2-3 minute warm up and 2-3 minute cool down.
You can do a HIIT workout by doing interval training on cardio equipment (Treadmill, Elliptical, Stair climber, Stationary bike). Increasing your incline or speed and performing this for 2 minutes, followed by a 1 minute recovery without an incline and at a comfortable recovery speed. Alternate this regimen of 2 minutes of the activity followed by 1 minute recovery for 20-30 minutes as tolerated, continuously changing up the speed and intensity. Overtime, you can experiment with shorter and longer speed and recovery intervals.
Nicole Zaybak Drepaniotis is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has been practicing in the clinical and outpatient settings for the past 15 years, specializing in Bariatrics and Weight Management.