High intensity interval training (HIIT) has proven to be one of the most effective exercise programs for weight loss. But can it also help the chiropractic patient?
What is HIIT?
HIIT is an exercise program that incorporates short bursts of intense exercise followed by slow exercise. Because it is so effective, people often see better results in a much shorter time. For example, twenty minutes of HIIT can yield greater fat loss and more cardiovascular benefits than using a treadmill for forty-five minutes.
Does high intensity mean high impact?
Just because exercise is labeled high intensity doesn’t mean it’s high impact. HIIT routines can include chair exercises for those who have weak or injured knees and ankles. Even if the person is seated, they would still work all the major muscle groups and receive the benefit of good cardiovascular exercise.
How does this benefit the chiropractic patient?
HIIT benefits the chiropractic patient in many ways. First of all, it increases oxygen and circulation in the body. Second, it develops a strong core. It also improves muscle tone and promotes fat loss. Correct posture is also emphasized to prevent injuries and muscle strains. All of these things benefit the chiropractic patient by promoting good health and reducing pain.
Is HIIT just for aerobics?
No, it can be easily adapted to any exercise program. For example, if a person has a walking routine, they can incorporate high intensity intervals. They can start at a comfortable pace for 2 minutes and then walk at a faster pace for 1 minute. They would then return to a comfortable pace for 1 minute and increase again. This would triple the benefits they receive from the same walk for the same amount of time. This method would also work for swimming, biking, or hiking. The key is to incorporate short bursts of high intensity into what you are already doing.
What about weight loss?
Excess weight puts enormous pressure on the spine and joints. Weight loss is often recommended to reduce this stress and relieve pain. Losing weight can also reverse many underlying conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Numerous studies have compared constant-rate cardio to HIIT for weight loss. Canadian researchers at the University of Laval concluded that after a 15-week study, subjects who exercised at high-intensity intervals lost significantly more body fat than those who did cardio at a steady pace. So it is a powerful ally for any weight loss program.
High-intensity interval training is accessible to people of all fitness levels. As always, a person should consult with their physician or chiropractor before beginning any exercise program. They can help you find an appropriate program for your current fitness level. In no time, you’ll see great results with HIIT.