With the launch of our Barre.Blast classes in May I wanted to explore why cardiovascular exercise, and in particular HIIT, is so important for our health. HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training and, if you’ve had some experience of the fitness industry in recent years, you’ll know that it involves short bursts of high intensity exercise interspersed with longer periods of rest or lower intensity exercise.
The many proven health benefits of HIIT include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease and increased lung capacity. In addition to these cardiovascular benefits HIIT has been shown to significantly reduce body fat, especially abdominal fat which is a key health indicator, as well as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Regular cardio, especially when combined with strengthening exercise, is the best way to meet the 2014 physical activity guidelines as recommended by the Australian Government. While many of us do prefer low impact exercise, it is still possible to experience all of the health benefits of cardio and HIIT. Our classes offer plenty of jump-free options which will still get you puffing and panting your way to a fitter, healthier you!
Video Transcript: So I think a lot of us are aware of many of the benefits of exercise. We know that it's good for our cardiovascular health, that doing cardio exercise can make your heart and your lungs stronger and healthier. We know that it's got so many other benefits on the body, so it helps improve your immune function, helps reduce the risk of chronic disease like diabetes. We know it's good for maintaining a healthy weight. We know now as well how good it is for mental health in terms of managing stress and anxiety and depression.
So the benefits on the musculoskeletal system are also really important and maybe not always as well understood.
We obviously know that when we do a strengthening exercise, our muscles get stronger. I think we're quite aware of that. But as well as that, all the systems in our body respond to load or exercise or stress.
So when we load up our muscles, our bones and our joints, they each respond by getting stronger. And I think we're quite used to that concept with muscles becoming stronger with exercise. But I think it's also good to remember the benefits that it has on our bones and our joints.
So loading up your joints, whether it's with high intensity or low impact exercise, there really isn't much, there really isn't evidence to suggest that we're damaging our joints there, but in fact, that the cartilage and the joint tissue becomes stronger as we gradually increase the load on it.
And as well as that, a lot of you may be aware that loading up your bones, whether it's with some high intensity exercise or with strength training, actually helps to improve your bone density as well and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
So just I think it's amazing how all the systems and tissues in our body respond to exercise by getting stronger.
Tim Shiraev and Gabriella Barclay, Evidence Based Exercise (2012), Australian Journal for General Practitioners (RACGP), Vol 41, No 12, pages 960-962, https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/december/evidence-based-exercise