What would you say if I told you there is a proven way to prevent dementia, improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and reduce the risk of almost all chronic diseases? Would you be interested? Would you believe me if I told you it costs nothing and only requires about 45 minutes of work per week?
Admittedly, that first paragraph sounds a bit like an infomercial…However, recent scientific studies support the widespread benefits of High Intensity Interval Training. If it sounds too “Intense” for you, don’t worry. This type of exercise is not reserved only for the super fit. So let’s define what it is and put your concerns to rest.
Just what it sounds like. The idea is to perform an exercise at a high level of intensity for short bursts of time, combined with longer periods of low to moderate intensity “breaks” in between. The concept is simple and can be applied to a variety of exercises including:
- Running (treadmill or outside)
- Row machine
- Stair climber (or actual stairs)
These are just a few suggestions, but you could use this type of training with basically any exercise you want. You don’t even need machines.
It is important to note that you may have some limitations concerning what type of interval training you can do based on current or past health issues. You should always consult with your physician prior to starting any program to ensure your heart is healthy enough to engage in high intensity exercise.
Talk to us about what type of exercise best suits your particular situation so you can get started shaping up your body AND brain with High Intensity Interval Training!
How do I do it?
Like any exercise, you will want to start with a warm up.
- Begin with 3 minutes of a low intensity warm up.
- After your warm up 30 seconds of intense exercise. Intensity should be high enough that you couldn’t do another second!
- After your intense exercise keep moving but slowdown for 90 seconds catch your breath and let your muscles get ready for the next 30 second burst.
- Repeat 7 more times for a total of eight intervals.
- After your last interval, spend 3 minutes cooling down at a low intensity.
From beginning to end this workout takes 22 minutes, and 6 of those are warming up and cooling down. Really just 16 minutes of work…and you are done! To maximize your results do this type of workout 3 times per week.
What are the Benefits?
Here’s the best part. The benefits of this type of exercise are dramatic. Here’s the list of what High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to do (read the whole list!):
- Increased insulin sensitivity (Helping to fight diabetes)
- Better breakdown of stored fats (Helping to fight your waist line)
- Decreased blood insulin, blood sugar, blood pressure, blood fats, and other chronic disease biomarkers (helping to fight the #1 cause of death)
- Increased Human Growth Hormone – (Helping to build lean muscle mass)
- Increased Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) – (Helping to fight dementia)
The Bottom Line
HIIT the Best Way to Prevent Dementia!
Dr. Joseph Mercola MD performing HIIT with commentary.
If you would like to read more about the many benefits of regular intense exercise please refer to:
- SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain – Dr. John Ratey MD
- GO WILD: Free Your Body and Mind From the Afflictions of Civilization -Dr. John Ratey MD and Richard Manning