How HIIT Helped Me Build Real Resilience

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What is High-Intensity Interval Training – HIIT

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It is a type of exercise that alternates between short periods of intense activity and brief periods of rest or recovery. HIIT is performed with various types of equipment or no equipment at all.

It is an effective way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness. Studies have shown that HIIT can help to improve insulin sensitivity, increase VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can utilize), and reduce body fat.

It is a great option for those who are short on time, as it is a very efficient way to exercise. HIIT workouts can be as short as 10 minutes, making them perfect for busy people.

Why I started HIIT

I signed up for the Fast 800 programme last year. It introduced me to different exercise techniques, including HIIT. I loved the idea of being able to improve my cardio-vascular fitness, as well as work on reducing my visceral fat. HIIT is scientifically proven to reduce visceral fat. It can also:

  • Efficiently burn calories, HIIT burns 25-30% more calories than other forms of exercise
  • Increase fat loss
  • Increase metabolism
  • Reduces blood sugar and improves insulin resistance
  • Reduces blood pressure

An absolute win-win right? That is what I figured too. As well as all that it only takes me 15 minutes twice a week. I can run, cycle, swim, or do things like squats and star jumps so I can even keep up with my training when I am not at home.

I have noticed a massive improvement in my lung capacity. Having had to run upstairs for the train the other day, and hopped on without even puffing. So it has definitely fulfilled the desire to improve my cardio-vascular fitness. I started running on the treadmill an 8kmph and now I run at 9.5kmph, so I have increased my speed too. Now I have more energy than I have had in ages. (Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2012 and now have no symptoms at all). Loving the endorphins and serotonin high too.  Endorphins and serotonin are important chemicals known as neurotransmitters. They affect your mood, energy levels and overall wellbeing.

HIIT builds Real Resilience

However, here is the added benefit that I did not expect. Commonly called the runners high from the endorphin and serotonin production I had already experienced to a degree. Having walked, swum, and done weight training since my teens. I found that the high lasted longer with HIIT. The really important piece was the exercise itself though.

Never having really been a runner, for some reason I decided this was the easiest way to do HIIT. On the treadmill! It started more of a lumber than a run. It very quickly pushed me out of what was comfortable and what I thought was doable.  However, with Dr. Michael Moseley’s encouraging words in my ear (listening on my phone to the recorded sessions), I pushed past my thresholds again and again. Each week the exercises pushed me further and for longer. Less walking, more running each week. Each time I listened and pushed. I believed I could do it. Each week I managed to do more.

Then one day I realised what else it had trained me to do. It got me comfortable with pushing past my comfort zone. In doing so it increased my ability to embrace change and grow my own Real Resilience. It was a particularly stressful day and I was taking it in my stride. All my plans were upended. I had to pivot and rethink my day. I was absolutely fine, I embraced change even more than normal. Because I was used to pushing out of my comfort zone I was comfortable with change.

Look out for the next blog which will be delving more into the comfort zone. Is it our friend or foe?

Why not try it for yourself?

Joining the fast 800 taught me a lot and a special thanks to Dr. Michael Mosley and the fast 800 team, for all the inspiration. Here is the link. You might want to give it a try.

The Fast 800 » By Dr Michael Mosley – The Fast 800

I am not affiliated with the programme in any way. Just a very grateful member of the community. I have learned so much about nutrition and exercise and found what works for me.