Over the past few years, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become very popular with the apparently healthy population and for good reasons. However, it was not being used as a training modality for groups typically considered to be special populations, until now.
In one study out of McMaster University in Canada, researchers looked at the benefits of interval training on people diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Patients exercised exclusively with interval training vs. moderate intensity continuous exercise that is typically prescribed for this group. The results speak for themselves, with significant improvements in both the functioning of their heart and blood vessels.
Another study is beginning to show promise for helping individuals with Type 2 Diabetes improve insulin sensitivity and control their blood glucose levels. The study is very promising, with participants having positively impacted their blood glucose levels for up to 24 hours post exercise.
So, just when we thought interval training is for the apparently healthy individual training for a sporting event, science is showing us that intensity is the key to many things.
Keith Burns, MS, CSCS, NASM-CES