5 Reasons I’ve added High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to my routine

I’m into week 5 of my quest for fitness. I’ve been faithfully using the treadmill six days a week with a couple exceptions. When I started the iFit walking program, I was able to alternate between increasing the incline (on iFit days) and increasing the speed/length of the workout. Now that I’ve been walking for five weeks, I regularly walk at an incline of between 4-10%, and I walk for 30 minutes at speeds between 3.2 – 3.6 miles/hour. The variety has decreased.

HIIT DVDIn the e-mails that flood my inbox, I started reading about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Here are five reasons I’ve added HIIT to my routine. (Three days a week I still use the iFit walking program and three days a week I’m doing the HIIT):

  1. Effectiveness – A 2011 study presented to the American College of Sports Medicine stated that the aerobic capacity developed by 2 weeks of HIIT was equivalent to 6-8 weeks of endurance training.
  2. Efficiency – There are a variety of HIIT programs available, but they are all relatively short, lasting anywhere from 4-10 minutes. This makes it easier to fit into a busy schedule. Some days I find it hard to squeeze the 30 minute walk in, especially if I want to do it before I need to leave in the morning. No more excuses for me!
  3. Variety – The DVD program I’ve started has 5 different 10 minute HIIT routines I can choose from: a general introductory segment, one that focuses on the abs, another one that works the upper body, one that introduces plyometrics, and the final one that works the lower body. Currently I only use one of the five a day. However, as my body adjusts, the DVD program gives me the flexibility to combine two or more segments into a personalized routine.
  4. Portability – I’m able to take (and do) the HIIT routines anywhere. All I need is my DVD, my laptop, and a 2 x 2 metre space and I can do my exercises. (At home I use my TV and DVD player.)
  5. Cost – I spent less than $10 on the DVD. I do want to invest in a good quality mat as well. However, for less than $50 I have a program that’s easy to use, fun, motivating, and inexpensive.

Rainbows and Remembrance Day

A Poppy is to Remember
They died so we can live

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Remembrance Day service at Ardmore School. I was especially touched by two events in the service. The first was a student who sang lyrics to a Remembrance Day poem her mother wrote more than twenty years ago. The second was the slideshow which depicted soldiers in the trenches. One image in particular stuck with me:  the battlefield is total muck – the soldier in the forefront of the picture is spattered with mud from head to foot, but sitting with his head held high and a sense of purpose about him.

On the way home, I enjoyed the beauty of a rainbow. Like the picture, the colours were painted across the sky in a perfect semi-circle. I thought about stopping and capturing a picture, but as I drove on the rainbow literally evaporated before my eyes.

You may wonder why I have chosen to connect rainbows and Remembrance Day. The beauty of rainbows is fleeting – rainbows only exist when mist and light intersect. Remembrance Day is only celebrated (by most of us) once a year. I am realizing how easy it is to take beauty and our freedoms for granted. We talk about the sacrifices veterans made for us, but will we truly ever understand how much our freedoms cost? For some soldiers, the price was their lives. For others it was loss of limb, loss of the ability to provide for their families, loss of the future they dreamed of. I have never experienced the brutality of war, and maybe I never will. But each day I can be thankful for the many freedoms I too often take for granted. In this way, I will remember and continue to honour the precious gift our veterans have given. Will you join me?