Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, but it’s not the ONLY way. In fact, it may not even be the most effective option, especially if you’re not getting enough exercise. For those who don’t spend enough time working out or training hard, you may be at a higher risk of a heart attack than you might realize!
The Cold, Hard Facts
One study examined the exercise habits of nearly 400,000 people in order to determine how much of an effect exercise has on your heart health. Of the people examined:
People who worked out for 30 minutes a day had only a 10% reduced risk of heart failure. That’s not bad, all things considered, but it’s not as good as you might expect. This modest reduction may not be enough to prevent serious heart problems, especially among those with a family history of cardiac disorders.
People who worked out for 60 minutes a day had a 20% lower risk of heart failure. Now we’re getting somewhere! Doing an hour of exercise every day can cut your chances drastically, so it’s a good idea to spend more time at the gym. If you can fit in an hour of workout every day, you’ll have a much healthier heart!
People who worked out for 120 minutes a day had a 35% lower chance of heart failure. Now, not all of us have the time in the day to do a two hour workout, but on the days when you can fit it in, do so! It will seriously lower your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of heart disease, giving you a better chance at a long, healthy life!
Considering how prevalent heart disease is in this modern day and age, it makes sense to do more to prevent cardiac disorders and heart failure. If adding a few more minutes to your daily workout does the trick, don’t you think it’s a good idea to get in a longer workout?
Another Solution: Up the Intensity
The study mentioned above only looked at the length of time of exercise, not the intensity. High intensity interval training can help you to get in a much better workout in a shorter amount of time. With the right HIIT workout, you can blast through a 2-hour gym routine in just half an hour! It’s the best way to obtain the same heart health benefits without spending all of your time at the gym.
How does a HIIT workout work? Simple: alternate between periods of high activity (usually anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes) and periods of low intensity, steady state activity (usually between 1 and 4 minutes). Whether you’re doing resistance training, bodyweight training, kettlebell training, or simple cardio, doing a HIIT workout will be the best way to pack a long workout into a shorter period of time.
As a bonus, HIIT workouts will have a much better, more long-lasting effect than you might realize! Not only will they help you to burn a lot of calories, but you’ll end up boosting your metabolism. The calorie burn will remain for hours after you finish working out. You’ll see great results in far less time, and you’ll combine muscle-building with cardio workouts. It’s a great way to get in shape and increase functional endurance, and it can even help to improve your athletic performance. You can keep your heart healthy and be a better athlete all-around thanks to High Intensity Interval Training!