Aerobic exercise indisputably leads to improvements in cardiovascular fitness, body composition, metabolic health and psychological well being. These benefits have been broadly known for some time. What is less apparent is the most effective type of aerobic exercise to produce these positive changes. High intensity interval training (HIIT) has recently emerged as an alternative to conventional aerobic exercise at a fixed moderate intensity. As the science behind HIIT builds momentum, it is also gaining recognition in the field of exercise physiology.
The benefit of HIIT is that it is tailored to the individual; intensity ranges during intervals are set as a fraction of individual’s peak heart rate, which is recorded during an initial exercise test. Protocol suggests the total duration of each session equates to 38 minutes of exercise, with only 16 minutes completed in the high intensity range. For many, this is far more manageable that fixed moderate intensity exercise, which can often become laborious and demotivating. Not only has this type of exercise been proven safe for both healthy and clinical populations, it has led to more superior changes in fitness and metabolic health measures than conventional aerobic training.
Bodytrack Exercise Physiologist, Andrew Sax is currently coordinating a large intervention that investigates the impact of HIIT on various markers of health in cancer survivors. In an effort to transition this scientific evidence to clinical practice, Bodytrack is in the process of developing a group-based HIIT program. If you are interested in this program or have any questions, please speak with one of Bodytrack’s Exercise Physiologist or Tara at reception.