These days we’re more aware of health and fitness than ever before. We drink kombucha. Take magnesium supplements. Eat clean. Even know the difference between the endless varieties of protein powders. But are we as clued up when it comes to HIIT?
Is your body taking a HIIT?
Take High Intensity Interval Training, which has exploded onto the fitness scene in recent times. Crossfit, bikini body workout guides, bodypump… nothing challenges your muscles more than an intense sweat session. But are you aware of the impact HIIT is having on your body? And could it be undoing all your other efforts to stay fit and healthy?
Squatting our way to surgery
Surgeons and healthcare professionals warn that all those high intensity moves are wreaking havoc with our joints, bones, ligaments and key functioning muscles – especially around the hips. And that is setting up young fitness enthusiasts for more serious health issues later on in life.
Gorav Datta, an orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, told The Telegraph: “the adoption of high-intensity workout regimes had contributed to a four-fold increase in bone and joint damage among patients under 30”.
Listen to your body
Going OTT with the HIIT is one thing. But not leaving enough recovery time for your muscles and joints can exacerbate the wear and tear. Mild orthopaedic complaints aren’t uncommon among young people and can stem from virtually any form of exercise. But they shouldn’t be subjected to session after session of high impact training just because you’re pushing through the pain. Want to avoid a hip replacement in the future? Stop writing off those twinges as ‘tight hip flexors’ and take a different approach.
Quality over quantity
There’s no point smashing out daily HIIT sessions if your form isn’t quite right, your muscles are tired, or your body is quite simply screaming for you to stop. Yes, you can work out effectively and yes, you can challenge your muscles. But then allow your joints to recover from the high levels of impact before you go and do it all over again. More progress. Less risk of injury. That’s more like it.
Mix it up
Mixing up your routine keeps your muscles guessing and provides you with fresh mental as well as physical challenges. And these will ultimately be more efficient in helping you to achieve your fitness goals. Make sure you throw in some low-impact training too. Swimming, spinning, Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi, resistance training… there are plenty of alternatives to HIIT – most of which you can book on the E2 app, so there’s no excuse not to give them a try.
Stretching is essential to muscle recovery, improving flexibility and preventing injury. You probably won’t need reminding to stretch after every workout. But why not add a dedicated 30-minute stretching session on rest days too? If you really want to go for it, throw in a weekly yoga class for good measure.
Take the work out of working out
With more gyms and studios around than ever we’re spoilt for choice – so make sure your body benefits. E2 has been built for the job, letting you pay for the studio classes and gym sessions you use instead of getting tied down with an annual membership. So you can take a flexible approach to your fitness in every way.
THE FITNESS RE²VOLUTION HAS BEGUN