Day 79/365 - On high-intensity interval training

Day 79
3/20/17

No matter how you slice it, there’s no getting around the number one thing necessary for good health: exercise. We were designed to be versatile creatures, adaptive to any environment, and able to pursue prey or outrun danger. The integrity and function of our blood vessel and lymph flow  relies heavily on our musculoskeletal system to move and stimulate circulation. 

What constitutes adequate exercise for adequate health? Well, the more, the better! Walking for at least half an hour a day provides some light weight-bearing exercise (bonus for osteoporosis prevention!) and some time to meditate on the go, while breathing in lungfuls of (hopefully fresh and unpolluted) air. It allows us to immerse in nature, and it’s shown that connecting to it releases some of our daily stresses.

However, if you don’t have time for a leisurely stroll (who does?) or a quick run outdoors, don’t fret. Another great technique to get aerobic and muscle-building exercise in your routine is the high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It’s based on the concept that you work as hard as you can, using complex exercises to target your biggest muscle groups, for short bursts of time, followed by quick rest period to recover and continue the cycle at your best potential. This technique has been shown to help muscle building, toning, endurance and weight loss! 

My favorite app and role model for this technique is the 12 Minute Athlete, created by Krista Stryker. It has a database of all the most effective exercises and demonstrations of each. It also has ready-made 12-16 minute routines with a timer, or a separate timer for custom and tabata (4-minute) work-outs. The best part of this app is that anyone can fit these routines into their day - there are no more excuses! Check it out and get on board with HIIT!