Research Finds Positives from Interval Workouts

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Here at Healthy Fit we know just how busy a woman’s life can get, so we love to see so many of you making sure you find time to get into the gym. For those of you who find yourself on a shortened schedule from time to time, you’ll be interested to hear about a new study that found that shorter, but harder, workouts can still have significant improvements on your health.

A recent article in the New York Times reported that researchers put together two groups of volunteers and studied how they were affected by interval training.  The two groups consisted of middled-aged sedentary (but generally healthy) men and women, and middle-aged and older adults who’d been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

For several weeks, both of these groups engaged in a modified high-intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT. This consisted of 1 minute of strenuous effort at about 90% of a person’s maximum heart rate (basically 220 minus your age) followed by 1 minute of easy recovery, repeated 10 times. All together it only takes 20 minutes.

The results were pretty remarkable. The group with the cardiovascular disease showed significant improved in the functioning of their blood vessels and heart, and the fairly healthy, but sedentary group, experienced the increased creation of cellular proteins that involved in energy production and oxygen AND it also improved their insulin sensitivity, which lowers their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes!

Want to try a HIIT workout yourself? Here’s a quick routine for beginners.

  • Always start with a warm-up! For example, an easy 10 minutes walking on the treadmill or cycling.
  • Whether on a bike or a treadmill…
  • For one minute run or cycle at a fast pace, but make sure it’s at a level you can endure at least 10 times.
  • 1 minute walk or easy cycle.
  • Repeat for 20 minutes.

Remember, work at a pace that’s right for you, and adjust the pace when needed.  Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, but be smart about it.

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