In last month's Healthy U Diabetes Queensland Accredited
Exercise Physiologist Emma Briskey introduced you to the idea of
increasing your exercise intensity to help you on your journey to a
healthier you. This month Emma encourages you to push a little bit
harder and challenges you to HIIT it!
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training.
"It may sound a little bit scary, but all it means is that you
exercise hard, or at a high intensity, for a short period of time
and then you have a short rest to catch your breath and start
again," said Emma.
"There are some fantastic benefits to HIIT. HIIT has been shown
to be more effective in reducing body fat and improve fitness than
an exercise program where you exercise continually at the same
intensity. It has also been shown to improve insulin resistance,
one of the key factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes."
And the best part? A HIIT workout like the one Emma has put
together for Healthy U readers only takes about 20 to 25 minutes,
perfect for when you are pushed for time. Include a HIIT workout
once or twice a week and keep up your healthy eating and you will
see results in no time.
Emma's HIIT It workout
There are a variety of ways to perform HIIT but this one from
Accredited Exercise Physiologist Emma Briskey is designed for a
Warm up for two to three minutes at a comfortable pace
Increase the resistance on the bicycle to a workload that feels
to be about a nine out of 10 (1=no effort; 10=maximum effort); then
pedal hard for one minute
Reduce the resistance on the bike and pedal for one minute at an
intensity that feels like four out of 10. (If you need, you can
stop completely for this minute rest)
Repeat this "one minute on, one minute off" routine five to 10
Cool down at a nice easy pace for two to three minutes
This method can also be applied to many other types of exercise
including running, swimming or even stair-climbing! The key is to
repeatedly push 'hard' for one minute at a time and then rest or
exercise at a lower intensity for another minute. The above is
intended as a guide only.
Anyone wanting to perform high-intensity exercise should first
consult their doctor and obtain clearance. Once clearance has been
provided, you may find it beneficial to speak to an Accredited
Exercise Physiologist (www.essa.org.au) who can provide guidance on an
appropriate program depending on your individual needs.
For those individuals who don't want to perform high intensity
exercise or for whom it is not suitable, you can adapt the method
above and still perform your own type of interval training. For
example, if you're starting exercise for the first time you might
alternate between short periods of brisk walking and slow walking
for a total of 10 minutes. As your fitness improves you can
increase your total exercise time as well as increase your
intensity by shortening your rest periods. Rather than working at
the intensity outlined above, you might stick to a five to six out
of 10 for your brisk walk and a two to three out of 10 for your
Remember to always listen to your body and be guided by how you
feel. If you experience any pain or become unwell during exercise,
stop and seek advice from a health care professional.