With the current world health crisis, a lot of people have not been able to stay physically active nor take care of their cardiovascular health. At times like this, it is most crucial during these times that each person be the healthiest they can be.
Exercise is one of the most important tasks that any person must do, especially in this pandemic. Since the increase in physical activities is beneficial in making the immune system stronger. However, given the situation that is happening, a question in becoming physically active in this season, which is prevalent amongst everyone: how can we replace these simple exercises that require going out of the house?
The answer is pretty simple. We can use our body weight and use this method called high-intensity interval training, otherwise called HIIT.
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training has been popular for the past years in the fitness industry. It involves alternating bouts of high and low-intensity exercises to increase the amount of exertion of the workload performed in each session.
HIIT is beneficial in improving cardiovascular health. When a person exercises at high intensity in short intervals, it improves their maximum lung capacity, which is called VO2 max. Having a higher volume of oxygen enhances metabolism and increases lung capacity.
Another advantage that happens during every session is that it also induces Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) or in layman’s term, the “afterburn”. The body converts lactate to muscle glycogen to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) after a high-intensity workout. Therefore, it helps burn more fat in the long run and can be more effective than a low steady-state of exercise.
Overall health can improve when people are committing to be active and consistent with their actions which become a habit.
Let’s Get Physical
Since everything is now in place, it is about time to discuss the essentials needed to start the program. First, a person needs space where they can lie down, sit, jump, and stand.
A timer is also necessary for the duration of the exercises.
A person can also add resistance in their program by using bags, buckets, water bottles, and fill them with things that can modify their weight. Dumbbells, kettlebells, and other gym equipment is optional but can aid in the intensity of the training. Having fast and upbeat music during the session can also dictate the intensity of the workout.
It is now time for the workout session and some warm-up. Here’s a simple routine:
- Warm-up Routine
- Sit to stand eight repetitions.
- Inchworms 7 repetitions
- Bent over I-Y-T-W 6 repetitions
- World’s Greatest Stretch 5 repetitions per side
- Jumping Jacks 30 seconds
For the Main Workout, an individual can do different duration depending on the fitness level.
- Beginners – 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest per exercise. 1:30 seconds of rest after every round. 3 to 5 rounds
- Intermediate – 45 seconds work, 30 seconds rest per exercise. One minute of rest after every round. 3 to 6 rounds
- Advance – 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest per exercise. One minute of rest after every round. 3 to 6 rounds.
The workout routine must consist of six foundational movements patterns. Namely, squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull, and core movement. Here is a sample set of exercises that consist of the foundational movements:
- Prisoner squat (squat)
- Bodyweight hip thrust (hip hinge)
- Lateral lunges (lunge)
- Push-up (push)
- Prone Y to W pulls (pulls)
- Front Plank (core)
If the exercises are too difficult, there are some regression exercises that can be a substitute for the movements written above, some of which are listed below:
- Box squat
- Elevated hip thrust
- Lateral squat
- Kneeling push-ups
- Prone Y W holds
- High Plank
Progress the workout by doing these advance drills :
- Goblet squats
- Weighted hip thrust
- Lateral slide lunges
- Elevated feet push-ups
- Prone swimmers
- One arm, one-foot front plank
Start Now, Conquer Tomorrow
COVID-19 has brought different challenges around the globe. Adjusting to the new norms may be tough, but everyone needs to do their part. People also need to do their part individually by staying healthy. Even if fitness centres are closed, each one is responsible for their health.
Achieving a healthy lifestyle is a long process, but it certainly is worth it. If it is hard to do it alone, call some friends and do an online video chat workout session to motivate each other in having a healthy lifestyle. Prepare the mats, timer, water bottles, weights, towels, and music. The challenge is within oneself, keeping its own pace and stepping it further.
Do not forget to cool down, rehydrate, and refuel proper nutrition after an exhausting workout. Challenge oneself to do better than the last session. Just smile and enjoy the process of being proactive.
It is never too late to start, keep moving forward. ▪
McCall Pete McCall Health and Fitness Expert Pete McCall, P., 2014. 7 Things to Know About Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) | ACE Blog. Available at: https//www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen-consumption-epoc/ [Accessed May 3, 2020].
Gaesser, G.A. & Angadi, S.S., 2011. High-intensity interval training for health and fitness: can less be more? Journal of Applied Physiology. Available at: https//journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.01237.2011 [Accessed May 4, 2020].
Bartram, S., 2015. Part 1: Getting Started. In High-intensity interval training. New York: Alpha, a member of Penguin Random House LLC.