HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) for Seniors

Have you been wondering what in the world HIIT means? I’ve been hearing people tout it as an effective exercise strategy, but never knew what they were referring to. So I decided to hop online and spend some time learning more about it. Here’s what I found out.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a type of cardiovascular exercise that’s done in intervals. So, instead of exercising for 30 minutes at a steady pace, it requires you to alternate between shorts periods of intense cardiovascular exercise and recovery periods. For seniors, most people recommend exercising at a high intensity for 20-30 seconds, then switch to low intensity for up to 60 seconds. Repeat this cycle until you’re finished with your workout.

Benefits of HIIT Training for Seniors

HIIT training is a great way to raise your metabolic rate and gain muscle. It can also improve your blood pressure and heart rate. The key is to start out slowly. Remember, your body is far from a spring chicken, so treat it kindly! Here are a few suggestions for HIIT training that’s appropriate for seniors to try.

Walking

Walking is one of the simplest HIIT exercises you can do, and it’s a great way to get started. Here’s how to differentiate between high and low intensity when walking.

  • Low-intensity intervals: Walk at a slow, easy pace. You should be able to talk fairly easily.

  • High-intensity intervals: Walk briskly while pumping your arms. You should go as fast as you can, and you shouldn’t be able to speak during your high-intensity intervals.

During your high-intensity intervals, you can raise your arms above your head, lift your knees higher, or do anything else that helps you get your blood pumping quickly.

Stationary Bike

A stationary bike is the perfect solution for HIIT training for seniors. It’s very gentle on the joints and doesn’t require you to even leave your home. Here’s what low intensity and high intensity intervals should feel like on your bike.

  • Low-intensity intervals: You should be able to pedal effortlessly, with very little resistance.

  • High-intensity intervals: You should raise the intensity by either increasing the bike’s resistance level, pedaling faster, or doing both at the same time. You shouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation when you’re doing a high-intensity interval.

To raise the intensity level even more, try raising the resistance level high enough that you can stand and pedal through your high-intensity interval.

Swimming

Swimming is one of the best ways to incorporate HIIT into your life if you have any joint issues or if you’re very heavy. Swimming doesn’t jar the joints at all, and it makes you feel so much lighter. Here’s how to switch between high-and low-intensity he next time you swim.

  • Low-intensity intervals: Swim slowly and smoothly for one or two laps. You should be able to speak and breathe easily.

  • High-intensity intervals: Swim as fast as you can for one lap. You should be breathing hard throughout the lap.

If you don’t have access to a swimming pool, you can also do HIIT intervals in a swim spa.

Boxing

Who says boxing is just for young kids? For me, it’s a great way to get my frustrations out while losing weight in the process! Here’s what boxing intervals look like for me:

  • Low-intensity intervals: For these intervals, I usually stop boxing completely and give myself time to rest.

  • High-intensity intervals: I throw as many punches as quickly as I can during these intervals. It doesn’t take long to get completely winded!

Never lock your elbows out when throwing punches, or you can do some damage to the joints. Remember to protect your hands and wrists by wearing supportive boxing gloves.

Now that you know some of the best ways to get fit and healthy with HIIT, give them a try! Remember to take it at your own pace and have fun!

5 Replies to “HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) for Seniors”

  1. Like using my Rebounder (mini trampoline) as can exercise in the privacy of my own home plus it exercises my entire body while being kind to my joints. Can easily apply this method to my routine!

  2. Thank you for your encouragement. My wife and I walk several times a week . We go where there are wills or steps but now I will try even higher intensity walking.
    Andrew

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