This week in the March Whole Detox by Deana Minnich, PhD, we are in the Love system, the system tied to heart health, blood, upper lung and back function, and of course our self and outward ability to love.
Exercise is key to heart health, this is known, however is there a type of exercise that maybe providing us more bang for the buck time wise? Research indicates that yes, possibly so.
Our blood pressure is measured in terms of Systolic blood pressure over Diastolic blood pressure. The heart beats in 2 parts, the systolic part - where blood is moved from the ventricle to the artery, and the diastolic - where blood is allowed to enter the ventricle, refilling it for the next beat.
In people with heart failure, high blood pressure, and other health concerns need to strengthen the heart and increase it's functioning. Exercise is typically included in a treatment for heart and overall health conditions, and is always recommended to the healthy population for keeping their hearts healthy and functioning at optimal levels for not only health but for our true ability to thrive.
Clinical trials have been done to see the effects of HIIT training (such as Tabata training, interval training, on/off max rep training, etc.) vs. moderate constant-state exercise (such as jogging, swimming, etc.) and the results indicate that HIIT improves peak oxygen uptake and left ventricle diastolic dysfunction better than the moderate constant state exercise.
So how do we put this into practice for ourselves?
1. Mix it up!
If you are a constant state exerciser, such as runner, cyclist, swimmer, elliptical fanatic - mix it up! Add in faster and slower intervals into your workouts. In the middle of a long steady paced run, add in a few wind sprints to wake the mind and keep the body on it's toes.
Increasing your Vo2 Max also helps with overall sports performance, so if you are trying to get faster or go longer in your preferred activity, HIIT are key to doing so.
2. There's an app for that
Download a Tabata or Interval app for your phone so that you can throw in a HIIT session at any time! Click here for a listing of some top recommended apps for your interval needs.
3. Know your zones
Even if you are not interested in adding in HIIT specifically, knowing your HR zones can mean that you are at least spending the time in the right zone for your goals. Endurance, fat burn, cardio fitness all happen in different zones. If you are working out constantly and are not seeing results - you may be in the wrong zone.
A very basic and easy way to calculate your HR zones is using the following process.
Max HR: Subtract your age from 220. The result is an age-predicted maximum beats per minute.
Resting HR: Take your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning. Do this for several days in a row to get consistent readings.
Heart Rate Reserve: Subtract your heart's resting rate from your maximum rate. This heart-rate reserve represents the cushion heartbeats available for exercise.
Using the guide above, then calculate out based on the heart rate reserve what your different zones are.
If you are 40 years old with a resting HR of 80, your numbers would be as follows:
Max HR: 180
Resting HR: 80
Heart Rate Reserve: 100
60% of 100 (HRR)= 60, and 70% of 100 = 70
Z1 range = 60 (60% of HRR) / 80 (resting HR) = lower 70 (70% of HRR) / 80 (resting HR) = upper Z1 limit.
lower range = 130, upper range = 155.
Do this for every zone based on the %'s in the chart above.
You will want to find a training resource or plan on how to train with HR for your sport. There are many books on Amazon for Heart Rate Training, and a good investment would be a HR monitor - Garmin, Polar and Fitbit all have wearables that monitor your HR while you workout so that you do not have to stop and measure with your fingers.
4. 15 minutes is all you need - here is my 7 minutes in heaven workout!
If you are short on time, travel a lot, or are lacking the motivation for hou rlong workouts, do not let that be an excuse. HIIT workouts can be 10-15 minutes long and provide more benefits than a steady state workout 4 times as long. If you only have a few minutes, you can do my 7 minutes in heaven workout to keep you active when time is a premium. Rest for 30-60 seconds between each 1 minute set.
1 - Knee ups (1 minute) Video here
2 - Inch Worms (1 minute) Video here
3 - Push Ups (1 minute) can modify if needed
4 - Front Lunges (clock lunges if you are advanced) ( 1 minute) Video here
5 - Jump squats (1 minute) Video here alternatively you can do normal squats, Video Here
6 - Burpees (1 minute) Video Here please modify if needed!
7 - Plank (1 minute) feel free to mix up your planks to engage other areas of your core!
Total time: 10 - 15 minutes depending on rest intervals
5. Join a Group
If you are interested in upping your health game and do not want to spend tons of time on it - then join in a local bootcamp or outdoor fitness group (such as Pursuit Detroit that will be launching this summer!)
To be kept up to date on the Launch of Pursuit, as well as to see what I am offering in the vitrual training space, please visit Pursuit Detroit and sign up to be kept in the loop!
In (heart) health,
High-intensity interval training vs. moderate-intensity continuous exercise training in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a pilot study
Siddhartha S. Angadi, Farouk Mookadam, Chong D. Lee, Wesley J.Tucker, Mark J. Haykowsky, Glenn A. Gaesser
Journal of Applied Physiology Sep 2015, 119 (6) 753-758; DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.00518.2014
functional nutritionist, health coach, and lighter of paths.