HIIT - The New Way to Exercise

May 8, 2017

HIIT - The New Way to Exercise
Maximum results with the least amount of effort possible? Yes please! If you have ever made the excuse that you don’t have time to exercise, there is no excuse now. Research into the most effective type of exercise for health is now showing that lower duration of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is just as effective as longer durations of moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), like jogging.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves exercising at a high intensity for short intervals with periods of rest in between. While intense, these exercise sessions typically only take up about 20-30 minutes of your time. HIIT is very effective at turning on AMPK, your master metabolic gene switch. This makes the exercises very effective at boosting fat burning, building lean muscle mass and supporting healthy blood sugar metabolism.

To get started with your own HIIT exercise routine, try starting with one minute intervals of intense exercise followed by another 60 seconds of rest. Repeat 5-10 times. Keep it interesting and change up the activity. Biking, running, swimming, push-ups, squats, scissor lunges, burpees, etc. Stretching after HIIT sessions can further enhance the benefits of HIIT by increasing blood flow to the muscles.

Generally, this type of exercise is best for people with a bit of cardiovascular fitness to begin with, so if you feel exhausted after exercise, have fibromyalgia, are currently sedentary, or are very overweight, you will need to build yourself up. Consider starting with 30 second intervals, give yourself 48 hours of rest between sessions and ensure proper hydration and nutrition. Finally, especially if you are out of shape, using recovery nutrients to help your body heal properly after these intense exercise sessions is important! These are the top exercise recovery nutrients:

Protein: Adequate protein is essential for muscle and tissue repair. Any body builder or athlete can tell you that the key to building muscle is consuming protein following strength training. High quality whey protein is an easily digestible protein that fosters muscle repair and growth even in the elderly. It is also a good source of branched chain amino acids (BCAA). BCAA, particularly leucine, stimulate the key gene signal, mTOR, an anabolic signal that stimulates muscle synthesis. Pay attention to labels though, because quality of whey protein matters!

L-glutamine: Glutamine is the single most important nutrient needed by the GI tract for energy and repair. Glutamine is also a major component of muscle. When the GI tract is in distress, large amounts of glutamine are taken from the blood to fuel GI tract needs. This may promote muscle breakdown or muscle wasting. The need for glutamine rises in response to inflammation. Thus, if a person is in a wear and tear trend, such as when exercising, then supplemental glutamine is important to support body tissue repair without breaking down muscles.

DHA: Recent literature has published evidence that patients with muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, have an imbalance of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. DHA is the most bioactive omega-3 fatty acid in the human body and can help to correct the ratio. In clinical studies, DHA was found to enhance the rate of muscle protein synthesis better than exercise alone by stimulating mTOR signals. Additionally, DHA lowers NF-kappaB, which decreases inflammation that can interfere with the repair process of microscopic damage done to muscles, connective tissue, and bones caused by exercise.

Curcumin: Curcumin is derived from turmeric and contains the biologically active curcuminoids that have powerful antioxidant properties. Supplementing with curcumin after exercising will reduce free-radical damage and inflammation that can build up and interfere with the repair process. Getting extra antioxidants is important when exercising, especially if you are overweight.

Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic Acid may very well be the most important compound in the structure of the human body. As a foundation, hyaluronic acid (HA) can attach to hundreds of other structural protein molecules, assisting in the formation of body tissues. Supplemental HA helps maintain healthy structure of skin, cartilage, synovial fluid and joints. There are huge quality differences among supplements though. Low quality sodium hyaluronate is not the naturally occurring compound of the body. It is a molecule too large to absorb and contributes to your sodium intake. Instead, supplement with natural hyaluronic acid with a low molecular weight.

Research continues to show that high intensity interval training is just as effective, if not more effective, than moderate intensity continuous training like jogging. If you want to reap the benefits of this new way to exercise, just be sure you are getting adequate repair nutrients. Your body will thank you!

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