The most common exercise recommendation is to get at least 20 minutes of activity five times a week. While this is fairly easy to achieve during retirement in Florida, thanks to great weather that encourages outdoor activity, you can gain real benefits from just five minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Combine high intensity workouts with your regular activity and you could experience real health benefits that include lower blood pressure, a stronger heart, and reduced body fat.
If you already follow a basic workout and are interested in incorporating high-intensity bursts into your regular routine, talk to your doctor and then start simply by pushing yourself a little harder and further than usual in your regular workout. That will help you see if HIIT is something you might want to explore further.
An actual HIIT routine involves intense bursts of activity for 30 seconds to one minute, followed by one to five minutes of rest. For example, in one study, participants did a series of 30-second all-out sprints, each followed by a short rest period. Doing this three times a week improved the structure and function of their blood vessels, resulting in a healthier heart.
In another study, participants, who were all over the age of 60, took part in a high-intensity cycling regimen for two week and saw a nine percent average lowering of their blood pressure. Their training consisted of a series of six seconds of all-out pedalling sprints on a stationary bike, followed by one minute of rest.
Other studies of people who participated in intensity training have shown significant reduction in body fat, particularly a reduction in the dangerous visceral fat that surrounds body organs. Studies have also seen a decrease in the risk of diabetes, even in those who already had signs of prediabetes.
By engaging in a form of high intensity interval training, seniors have reported an overall increase in energy and a desire to be more active. Their improved cardiovascular health makes it easier to go for longer walks, take the stairs, climb hills, play a full round of golf, and feel more physically capable. The result is that you can enjoy your retirement in Florida by taking advantage of all that this sunshine paradise has to offer.