For decades, doctors and other health care professionals have urged patients to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Recent research has proven that this may not be as efficient as originally supposed. The research, which focused on teen-aged subjects, placed them on an exercise program of short, intense bursts of exercise followed by sustained periods of rest. This method gave the subjects equal benefits in blood vessel function and cardiac monitoring via the medulla (brain stem) that they would have received had they exercised for a longer duration.

The exercise program chosen, spinning, involved one-minute bursts of intense cycling on a stationary bicycle followed by 75-second breaks. The heart rate during the break remained elevated enough to benefit the cardiovascular system while the muscles had a chance to relax. Known as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, this type of exercise routine decreases the number of calories burned since cumulative exercise time is diminished, but the amount of body fat is significantly reduced. Keeping this in mind, patients who need to cut calories, as well as inches, may wish to engage in an HIIT routine a few times a week and a standard cardiovascular exercise routine at least once more per week.

While some participants may find HIIT too invigorating to engage in three times a week, the benefits for a busy individual who would not normally exercise due to time constraints will find it well worthwhile. Contact your primary care provider to determine whether you can engage in high-intensity training.

If one would like to incorporate HIIT into their life, paired with proper cardiac monitoring, it might be the ultimate exercise program to strengthen blood vessels and maintain a normal heart rate. Please browse through our blogs for more information concerning heart health and exercise programs, or contact one of our professionals at (800) 23-HEART (234-3278).