September 22, 2022
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves short bursts of vigorous exercises (80-90% of your heart rate max) between 20 seconds and 4 minutes, followed by a more extended rest period at a lower intensity (<60% heart rate max). It is recommended that older adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises daily OR 20 minutes of vigorous exercise daily to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and prevent injuries.
HIIT has been established as an effective and beneficial means of exercise for older adults. The natural aging process can result in decreased muscle strength and balance impairments leading to a higher risk of falls. HIIT training has been proven effective in older adults to help slow the aging process and improve the overall quality of life. Seniors who have been medically cleared to exercise are safe to participate in HIIT workouts without the risk of adverse cardiac or musculoskeletal injuries.
Benefits of HIIT for the Senior Population
Regularly participating in HIIT workouts has been shown to:
· Improve overall cardiovascular fitness
· Improve bone density and decrease the risk of fractures
· Reduce abdominal fat, leading to a decrease in chronic disease
· Improve overall mental health
· Reduce blood pressure
· Increase strength and functional mobility, potentially reducing the need for assistive devices
Strength training is essential for everyone, regardless of their age. Even in seniors with limitations, it has been shown that adding HIIT workouts improves overall strength and quality of life. By age 70, the average adult has lost 25% of their overall muscle mass. This is due primarily to inactivity. Any exercise or movement benefits the senior population, but studies have shown that strength-focused HIIT workouts are best.
For more HIIT workout ideas, you can contact your Aegis therapist. Our therapists can assess your current health and create an individualized plan of care focused on improving overall function and ability to participate in daily activities.