Interval Training: Fusing Fun with Efficiency
By Dr. Corey Mote
High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, is the new craze in physical fitness and has gained a global reputation rather quickly as a more exhilarating way to get fit — and to get there quickly. What's more – there is now sufficient research being released in the sports science world to back up the claims on HIIT's effectiveness. This type of training is a wonderful fit for so many people today, particularly those with busy schedules, as HIIT's greatest claim to fame is perhaps it's time efficiency.
Several studies that have been published in top tier peer-reviewed journals have found that interval training (high intensity interval training in particular) is superior to endurance training in terms of increasing insulin sensitivity (a key factor in prevention of diabetes), and also has similar effectiveness with other aspects of well-being, such as prevention of heart disease and hypertension.
For the millions of us in today's world who have trouble finding time to fit in a workout in our busy lives, this is great news. Since it has been shown in surveys that one of the top reasons people tend to not engage in a fitness regimen is because of not having the time for it, this type of training should naturally be a Godsend to the millions of us who desire to get into shape (or stay in shape), but struggle with fitting the workouts in.
In addition to the time-saving aspect of HIIT, many people enjoy interval training. Unlike endurance training, the constant alteration in speed or intensity allows for a more exhilarating and, to many of us, a more enjoyable experience, as opposed to a steady paced cardio session. This is very important, because when it comes to sticking with a fitness regimen, the amount of enjoyment of the workout sessions is a key factor in people staying on track with their workout regimen and not giving up.
Many fitness experts will agree that it is crucial to find an exercise routine that works for the individual — one that he or she likes, allows the individual to be physically and mentally healthy, and will most likely allow the individual to stick with the regimen long-term. For some people, HIIT is the answer. For others, long-distance running is more exhilarating.
In a nutshell – interval training may help many people who feel like they don't have time to workout by allowing for exercise sessions that are under 30 minutes (which is about 2% of one's entire 24-hour day), leaving little room for excuses. But we must also keep in mind that the regimen must be stuck to for the long haul. Therefore, keeping the workout (the mode of the training) interesting to the individual. Exercise that is not exhilarating or lacks an energizing or stress-relieving feeling, or doesn't quite give the person a feeling of positive outcome or accomplishment will only lead to burn-out or cessation from the training regimen all together. It is crucial to look closely at an individual's goals, modes of training that fulfill the individual, and the lifestyle of the person that the regimen is to be designed for in order to be successful in encouraging a life-long devotion to an an active and fit lifestyle.
Dr. Corey Mote is a chiropractic physician, professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, and columnist for many fitness magazines and medical/ healthcare journals in North America and abroad. He has been the featured subject of many fitness magazines internationally. He is the owner and operator of a multi-disciplinary medical practice north of Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on Dr. Mote, please visit his site at www.coreymote.com.