Much publicized over recent times, High Intensity Training (HIT) gives the same benefits as conventional exercise but in a much shorter time. Instead of a non stress half-hour jog, a sedate stroll after dinner, or riding a few miles on the bike, HIT involves pushing yourself to your limits for a short period of time.
If you've not heard of it before, the fundamental principles of High Intensity Training (HIT) are that exercise should be brief, infrequent, and intense. Exercises are performed with a high level of effort which will stimulate the body to produce an increase in muscular strength and size.
Researchers at Scotland's Abertay University said their recent study emphasized the benefits of exercise at any age.
However, the regimen can be used no matter what your age. A pilot study involving 12 pensioners showed going all-out in very short bursts, reduced blood pressure and improved general fitness over time. The results, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, revealed that participants had reduced their blood pressure and increased their ability to get oxygen to their muscles. The pensioners found it easier to rise out of a chair, walk the dog—or whatever they normally did.
The suggestion is for people to give it everything they've got for six seconds. Run up a hill—not walk, the steeper the hill, the harder it will be. Warning. See your doctor first. A higher heart rate and blood pressure caused by exercise can be a trigger for heart attacks and stroke.
The broad message is do it whatever your age or condition. After a go-ahead from your doctor, you're never too old, too frail, too ill to benefit from exercise, as long as it's carefully chosen.
I don't know how I could tackle this. My walking is painful no matter where I am. I use a stick inside the house, and a rollator outside. Okay, I push it uphill every day and then return. Could I go faster for six second bursts? Well, I'll give it a try. Deep within my psyche, I'm a cheetah.
How about you? Do you like the sound of six seconds of exercise?