Hyattsville physical therapists recommend high-intensity interval training for those of you with minimal time to exercise

hyattsville physical therapists

June 28, 2017

In our last blog, we offered some strategies to help you follow a more nutritious diet in order to lose weight, especially if not having enough time is preventing you from doing so. We also explained that you can’t expect to lose weight by healthy eating alone, and that regular exercise is also essential in order to accomplish this. Once again, though, many of us don’t have enough time to exercise as much as we’d like to every day, and it may become yet another casualty of our hectic schedules. To this end, our Hyattsville physical therapists recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as an alternative solution to exercise for those of you who are short on time.

HIIT has been around for many years, but has been growing rapidly in popularity more recently to become the third biggest fitness trend so far in 2017. Essentially, HIIT is a training technique in which you give an all-out, 100% effort through quick intense bursts of exercise, which are then followed by shorter recovery periods.

Since your body is working so hard during a HIIT workout, it increases your heart rate and helps you burn more fat in less time. HIIT workouts also increase the body’s need for oxygen during these extreme efforts, which leads to an oxygen shortage. This will cause your body to require more oxygen during the recovery period, and over time, the intense workout will help increase your cardiovascular ability and strengthen your heart.

Better cardiovascular health is just one of the many benefits that proponents of HIIT stand by. Other attractive qualities include the following:

  • Helps build endurance: HIIT adapts to the cellular structure of the muscles, which enables you to increase your endurance while doing any type of exercise; one study showed that people who participated in HIIT for eight weeks had doubled the length of time they could ride a bike while keeping the same pace
  • Quick and convenient: HIIT workouts can be done just about anywhere and at any time, and only require as little as 10 minutes or no more than 30 minutes to complete
  • Equipment is usually not necessary: though dumbbells may be optional in some HIIT workouts, most only use your body weight, since the focus is usually on getting your heart rate up and keeping it there
  • Helps you lose fat, not muscle: most steady cardiovascular exercise is associated with losing muscle, but since HIIT workouts also include weight training using your own body weight, it will help you preserve muscle while shedding fat

Even with all of these benefits, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that HIIT workouts are right for you. Just like with any new exercise routine, it’s crucial that you check with your doctor before beginning HIIT, and due to their intense nature, you should be in adequate shape in order to complete them. It’s also important to understand that HIIT workouts may not be for everyone and that they don’t necessarily have to be a substitute for all of your other workouts. Instead, HIIT should be seen as an alternative approach to working out that can be a great use of your time, especially if you don’t have too much of it.

To learn more about the possible benefits of HIIT, click here. For any aches or pains you may be dealing with, our Hyattsville physical therapists can help. Contact CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment at any of our three clinics in Laurel, Hyattsville or Glenn Dale / Bowie, MD today.