High Intensity Interval Training

Good morning! Dr. Glen Reed here again with another installment of Family Matters. This year, we’re focusing on healthy habits that can be incorporated into your family routine to ensure your family thrives and stays healthy throughout the upcoming year.

As we take on January, it’s a great time to schedule physical activity and movement into our daily lives. Last week, we discussed the benefits of yoga for kids, but let’s not forget that yoga is just as healthy for adults too!

Today, I want to bring attention to another physical requirement – high-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short. Our bodies need episodes of high-intensity exercise to stay healthy, and HIIT provides just that.

The Benefits of HIIT

HIIT is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do. It decreases your risk for cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart disease, and also lowers your risk of obesity and related issues.

What I love about HIIT is that it’s one of the quickest exercises you can do. Because of its high intensity, you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to it. A HIIT workout can take anywhere from eight to twenty-five minutes out of your day, and you can do it absolutely anywhere as long as you have some major muscle groups that you can move.

The best part? You can do it without spending a penny. You can do it in your home, download podcasts, whatever suits you. It’s easy to incorporate into your day, and by the way, kids love to do it too!

How to Do HIIT

Firstly, high intensity means that you want to be at about 80-85% of your target maximum heart rate. Then you want periods of lower intensity mixed in, at about 30-35% of your max heart rate.

The ratios of high intensity to low intensity can vary. You can do it at a one-to-one ratio, so for half the time you’re at high intensity and then drop back down for a minute, then step up for a minute and back down again. Or you could do as low as 8:1, that is eight of low intensity to one of high intensity.

When you’re doing a HIIT workout, you can only really do about one or two a week because your body needs time to recover. But that’s the benefit of it – you’re working out so well, so hard.

So, let’s get our families moving with some high-intensity exercise this year. Here’s to a healthier, happier family!