What are the benefits of regular exercise?
The human body needs exercise, nearly every day. And while you may think exercise needs to be unending sets with heavy weights or hours on a treadmill, there are simple, fast, and healthy ways to get your exercise in and experience the benefits - without committing a huge amount of time or even a gym membership*.
Regular exercise can give you a multitude of benefits including:
Strengthening your muscles
Strengthening your bones
Boosting endorphins (hello good mood)
Helping maintain healthy weight
Reducing risk of disease, including metabolic diseases
Improving cardiovascular health
The benefits of regular exercise are so far reaching that it can also help:
Increase the count and diversity of the gut microbiome
Improve sleep quality
Boost skin health
Improve brain health and memory
Increase your energy
Help increase your lifespan
What is HIIT?
One method of time-efficient exercise that has a lot of benefits is called HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training.
An interval is a set period of time to do a certain activity. With HIIT, sessions are done with short, high-intensity bursts of physical activity, with low-intensity recovery periods in between each interval.
HIIT is very flexible, so even beginners, or those getting back into exercise can start with a simple program, which can range from 10 to 30 minutes.
Standard HIIT program format
A usual program for a HIIT workout consists of:
Warm up 1-2 minutes (beginning of session)
High intensity interval 20-30 seconds
Low intensity interval 1-2 minutes
These intervals are repeated in approximately 4-6 rounds, which gives you about a 10 minute workout. Increase your number of rounds to increase your workout time. You can also increase the timing of your high and low intensity intervals based on the exercises you choose, and how intensely you are moving your body.
The key is to increase your heart rate during your high intensity intervals. Whatever exercise you are able to do that will push your heart rate up is a good choice!
What are the benefits of HIIT?
There are some extra special benefits of the HIIT workouts that are in addition to those of regular exercise:
Less time commitment
Burn more calories in a shorter amount of time
Boost fat loss
Raise your metabolic rate for hours after your workout
Improve oxygen consumption (your muscle’s ability to use oxygen)
A few simple HIIT workouts
Use a brisk walk or jog to warm up, then sprint for 30 seconds, then walk or jog for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this round about 4-6 times, or up to 30 minutes.
Stationary or outside bicycle:
Pedal at an easy pace to warm up, then pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then pedal again at an easy pace for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this round about 4-6 times, or up to 30 minutes.
Body weight exercises:
Use a brisk walk or jog to warm up, then perform burpees, squat jumps, plank push ups, or any similar body weight exercise for 30 seconds, then stand and walk for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this round about 4-6 times, or up to 30 minutes.
First, you should always check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Challenge yourself, but don’t push your body past what it’s able to do at that time. Actual pain is not an indicator of future gain; muscle soreness after a workout is. As you continue with your HIIT routines, you should be able to do more, faster, and harder, and see more results!
*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome provides this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.