June 24, 2014 by Dr. Sana Keller
It’s hard to argue with the fact that exercise plays a key role in regaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and, even more importantly, DISEASE PREVENTION…& CANCER PREVENTION. Clinical studies continue to add to the ever growing mountain of evidence reminding us of how important it is to make exercise a part of our daily routine. Yet how do we decide what is best for us between the thousands of workout options available? Not all workouts provide the same results, so which exercise routines are more effective? Does it take running for an hour on the treadmill? If you enjoy it, go for it…but for those of you looking for a BENEFIT-PACKED, TIME-EFFICIENT workout, read on…about HIIT. It’s a powerful tool that I share with all my Healthy Lifestyle and Cancer Survivor clients.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training involving exercise workouts that alternate between intense bursts of activity followed by less-intense activity.A typical HIIT workout includes short bursts of intense cardio exercise ranging from 30 to 60 seconds—like sprinting, suicides, mountain climbers, jumping rope, or high knees running in place—followed by a brief recovery interval of lifting light weights, walking in place, or holding a plank position. This process is repeated 5 to 6 times. As with any exercise routine, a brief warm-up and cool-down time is still key to help prevent injury and for best results.
Check out the BENEFITS of HIIT:
No special equipment is needed for HIIT workouts. Benefit: Cost-effective and Portable!
A HIIT workout has been found to burn more calories during the workout as well as continue to burn more calories and fat after the workout. Benefit: Improved Fat-Burning!
HIIT workouts have also been found to improve cardio endurance over time. Benefit: Improved Heart Health and Fitness!
Regular HIIT workouts can help maintain hormone levels, boost human growth hormone (HGH) and positively impact testosterone levels. Benefit: Improved Hormonal Balance!
Yet one more Powerful Benefit of HIIT: Reduced Cancer Risks! One of the main reasons that exercise works to reduce cancer risk is because it decreases insulin levels, thereby reducing cancer risk. Regular daily physical activity for 30 minutes can lower cancer risk by as much as 40%…imagine adding HIIT workouts into your workout schedule–Are you up for the challenge??
There are many variations for HIIT workouts—check with your local gym, search online, or grab a DVD the next time you’re shopping. It’s time to take a HIIT!
Sana Keller PhD, RN, CNC
Photo credits: skinnyms.com, shrinkingjeans.net, wenatcheefitnessblog.com, garda.com, drsinatra.com, preventcancer.aicr.org