You have probably heard of or read about HIIT, high intensity interval training, and how you can get excellent fitness benefits in a fraction of the time of conventional aerobic exercise. For most of us, who find spending hours in the gym impossible, it’s a wonderful option. But it has even more profound benefits than just improving fitness, helping with weight loss and saving time! Some of those include greater fat loss than regular exercise, improved cardiovascular health by increasing VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising) and reducing insulin resistance.
I recommend trying HIIT and including it in your exercise regimen in Today’s the Day.
One of the primary contributors to virtually all chronic degenerative disease, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s is mitochondrial dysfunction, which research suggests half of people under the age of 40 have! So what are mitochondria and why is this so important to health?
According to Live Science, “mitochondria are specialized structures unique to the cells of animals, plants and fungi. They serve as batteries, powering various functions of the cell and the organism as a whole.”
We each have over 1 quadrillion mitochondria, which comprise about 10% of our total body mass. They are responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic disease.
Studies also show HIIT is very effective for boosting mitochondria and improving their function, particularly in older people. This article details a 12-week Mayo Clinic study of 72 sedentary people aged either 30 or younger or 64 and over. The results showed that those engaging in HIIT not only had improved muscle mass, strength and endurance, biological aging was also positively impacted, particularly in the older participants.
You can perform HIIT at any age and still reap major benefits, and quickly. The older you are the lower your maximum heart rate will be, and the more gradually you will want to increase your repetitions. You can still get benefits from working out at a slightly lower intensity; you simply increase the time you work out to make up for it. Always use wisdom and listen to your body.
Have you tried HIIT? If not, would you consider making it part of your exercise routine?
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Yes, Ann! I love HIIT! Do you have any specific workouts to recommend?
Sadly, I’ve strayed a bit from a really great HIIT routine I had going to focus on yoga. It’s hard to find the balance between all of the beneficial exercises out there.
Do you know what the signs of mitochondrial dysfunction? Is this another thing I should be watching out for?
Holly, I use some DVDs from Jillian Michaels (Beginner Shred is my favorite) and a new one I’ve been using is called 20 Minute Body. I am really enjoying this one and it’s very challenging. Primal Movements is my favorite so far in this set. As for recognizing symptoms of mitochodrial dysfunction – I think we all have it to some degree. Overweight and difficulty losing weight, brain fog, cravings,fatigue, and any serious chronic diseases would indicate a problem.I am reading Dr. Mercola’s Fat for Fuel book which shares his Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy diet and I will share information once I’ve read and digested it.
Awesome! Can’t wait. I always love learning from you.
Thank you Holly.
Ann, this is a very compelling article. I was doing a video before my surgery last year. It’s too easy to break good habits. Thanks for the motivation to try again.
Debbie, I use some DVDs from Jillian Michaels (Beginner Shred is my favorite) and a new one I’ve been using is called 20 Minute Body. I am really enjoying this one and it’s very challenging. Primal Movements is my favorite so far in this set. I know when you have something that interrupts your routine (like surgery!) it is very easy to slip out of those habits. Even just using the HIIT principles when you walk works well. I walk at a very brisk pace for maybe 3 or 4 minutes and then walk at a more leisurely pace to recover for a minute or so and do it 6 or 8 times during a walk. Just get back into it gradually and you’ll see results again in no time.
Thank you for reading and commenting.