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Question - I am a regular at the gym and usually do a circuits class once a week which involves doing all sorts of exercises, one after the other.
Friends tell me I should do high-intensity exercise. I thought I already was! Can you explain? I’m a 46-year-old woman.
Answer - High-intensity - Training - HIIT - Intensity
Answer - High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves working at a very high intensity for periods of 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a recovery of about three to four times that period.
The high overload on your body is thought to raise metabolism, be better for your heart and lungs and have a greater effect on your body shape than straight constant-pace cardio.
Question - HIIT - Exercise - Clients - Ten
The big question is, just how do we know what is defined as HIIT and what is, say, just quite intense exercise? I tell clients to imagine they’re giving a seven or eight out of ten in terms of effort while running, cycling, star-jumping or whatever their HIIT exercise of choice is.
To answer the question, a circuits class usually involves doing one exercise for a minute, then moving to the next. Strictly speaking, this isn’t HIIT because it’s pretty much impossible to sustain a sprint interval for a minute.
Nothing - Circuit - Training - Sessions - HIIT
But there is nothing to stop you combining circuit training, longer cardio sessions and HIIT training – variety is the spice of life, after all. Make sure you speak to a doctor before embarking on a high-intensity regime, though, if you think you might have a condition that would make it risky.
Q - As a 60-year-old mother of two grown-up children, I’ve recently joined the gym. I now do aerobics three days a week, and yoga and Pilates the other two days. I’ve read a lot about women my age increasing protein intake by drinking special ‘shakes’, especially if we’re active. Should...
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