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All About HIIT Training


One of the biggest reasons people don’t exercise is time. So High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an interesting alternative as pointed out in a recent New York Times piece.

But is it right for you?

Tommy Parrish, director of Covenant Health’s LifeStyle Centre, shared the following thoughts about HIIT workouts.

  • American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes/week of moderate to intense exercise.
  • HIIT programs provide high intensity bouts (generally about 80 percent of maximal heart rate) of exercise with the recovery interval being 40-50 percent of estimated maximal heart rate.
  • Typically, the programs are 20 to 30 minutes in duration (variations of programing are available).
  • HIIT programs provide an alternative to traditional cardio and strength training programs (also be willing to try something new – a new tool in your tool chest of fitness).
  • When trying a HIIT program start with one per week and working up to two per week, because more than this could put you at risk of injury, especially depending on fitness level.
  • HIIT programs can increase post-exercise oxygen consumption – your body continues to burn extra calories post exercise to restore itself. On most typical exercise programs this period can be up to two hours post exercise. But with HIIT programs this period of recovery could be modestly longer and could add between 6 and 15 percent more calories to the overall workout energy expenditure, according to the ACSM.
  • With safe and proper instruction, and with modifications from a degreed instructor, HIIT variations can be used in multiple exercising populations and fitness levels.
This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please seek medical advice from your physician for any related medical condition. If you are in need of a primary care doctor, click here to find one in the Covenant Health network.

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