INTERESTING INFORMATION ON HIIT- (High intensity training)

In the 1990s, researchers in Japan made an intriguing discovery: just four minutes of high-intensity exercise (four cycles of a 20-second sprint followed by a 10-second active recovery), when carried out for five days per week over a six-week period, could deliver equivalent fitness to one hour of normal-intensity exercise.

Since the discovery of HIIT, evidence of its benefits has continued to grow. Researchers have learned that unlike normal-intensity exercise, HIIT directly targets visceral fat, burning away the fatty deposits that can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Recently, studies have also shown that as well as improving fitness, HIIT can actually reverse the effects of ageing on the mitochondria – the power-houses of the cell. As we age, the ability of the mitochondria to obtain energy by burning glucose declines. In tests, however, HIIT boosted the performance of mitochondria by 49% in people aged 18-30, and by a stunning 69% in people aged 65-80.

To lose weight effectively, it is important to safeguard against loss of muscle mass. Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. Resistance training is the best proven way to help combat this. Having a strong lean-muscle mass also increases your resting metabolic rate, enabling you to burn more energy while you are resting. Additionally, building muscle using weights builds denser bone, which decreases the risk of osteoporosis – an important consideration for women in particular. The best news is that it is never too late to start!

Weight training falls into two main types: light weights with high repetitions, such as those featured in Body Pump classes and body-weight resistance exercises (such as squats, push ups and lunges), and high weights with low repetitions. Light weights with high repetitions are more effective for toning, and heavy weights with low repetitions are more effective for building bulk.