High Intensity Training – Can it Work for You?

High Intensity Training – Can it Work for You?

Science says that high intensity interval training is not only safe for those of us in middle age and beyond; it’s just what we need.   Some form of heightened intensity appears to be the best way to enhance fitness, rev up your metabolism, and turn back the clock. Research conducted in Europe and elsewhere has found that high-intensity training improves aerobic fitness as well as lengthier gym sessions did.  It’s also been shown to decrease insulin resistance, reducing the chance of contracting metabolic syndrome, which can put you at higher risk for diabetes or heart disease. High intensity training involves short bursts of all-out effort interrupted by very short rest periods.  You can do this in a variety of ways – running, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing – but it’s all about forcing yourself to do any of them with the intensity required for maximum effect.   This type of training engages 80% of the muscles of the body, compared to up to 40% during moderate jogging or cycling.  It engages not only leg muscles, but also the muscles in the upper body, such as the arms and shoulders. A study from Denmark recently published in the British Medical Journal Online argues that the standard advice for people in middle age and beyond —to walk as much as possible or simply get moving in whatever way you can to avoid being sedentary — may be insufficient.  The Danish team analyzed health and lifestyle reports for 10,000 adults over 10 years and found that regular, more-intense aerobic exercise, like fast walking or jogging, cut one’s risk factors for heart disease and stroke...