High Intensity Interval Training:
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a time efficient way to induce rapid changes in exercise capacity and fitness, particularly for cardiorespiratory fitness + weight management. The role of HIIT has long been utilised and appreciated by elite, endurance athletes as a part of their comprehensive training programs. HIIT has the capacity to dramatically improve aerobic exercise performance, even when overall training volumes are kept low. Despite lower time commitments and overall reduced exercise volume, HIIT stimulates physiological adaptations similar, or superior, to those engaging in moderate-intensity continuous training. High intensity training may be your solution to optimal fitness if lack of time remains a barrier to regular exercise participation and improved fitness. Numerous health & fitness benefits are associated with HIIT training, including:
- Significant increase in both aerobic and anaerobic fitness (Increase in VO2 Max; Reduced rate of lactate production at matched workload; Improved time to exhaustion tests)
- Improved cardiometabolic health outcomes (Enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation; Improved glucose tolerance; Lowered insulin resistance)
- Reduced subcutaneous & abdominal body fat, potentially more effective in comparison to other forms of exercise
Endurance (aerobic) training:
Endurance (aerobic) training has been shown to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness, stamina and weight management. It keeps your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy and improves your overall health and fitness. Endurance exercise includes activities that increase your breathing and heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming, rowing, dancing and cycling.
The Pilates method:
Pilates is a unique method of body conditioning that integrates motor control, motor learning, breathing, flexibility, strength training and body awareness. It helps develop powerful core muscles – in particular the abdomen, back and buttocks – that assist postural alignment and help to keep the body supported and balanced. It is a form of exercise that emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, balance, proprioception and awareness to support efficient, graceful movement. This form of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates and is also known as the Pilates Method.
Plyometric training is a great way for athletes to build explosive power. Performing plyometrics one to three times a week can increase your vertical jump and improve your speed and strength. The gains athletes make from plyometric training can directly translate to better performance on the field.
Flexibility (mobility) training:
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay supple & flexible. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercise and for your everyday activities. It may also help you avoid discomfort when moving or sitting.
Weight training (resistance training):
Muscular strength development is a multi-dimensional fitness component that is influenced by a combination of muscular, neural and biomechanical factors. Strength or resistance training programs have been shown to be effective for gaining lean muscle mass, weight loss, and improving athletic performance and can target all major muscle groups.
Strength training and lean muscle mass:
Building lean muscle is a key aim of strength or resistance training. However, stronger muscle doesn’t necessarily get bigger or bulkier. The effect of strength training is to improve efficiency of movement and the efficiency of neural connections. Stronger lean muscle allows joints to have more support, more lifting and carrying capacity and better endurance. As a result, movement becomes easier as our muscles can better support us and our joints. This decreases joint degeneration, pain with movement and the time it takes to get moving.
Lean muscle mass…. the key to your metabolism! The amount of energy your body consumes at rest (i.e. your metabolic rate) is heavily influenced by the amount of lean muscle tissue in your body. As a result, if you increase the amount and quality of muscle mass you have in your body (even slightly), you can cause a pretty substantial increase in your body’s metabolism. So, a poorly understood, but key benefit of strength or resistance training is an increase in our metabolic rate or how much energy we burn. Muscle is great at burning fuel, even during rest! In short, more lean muscle means you will burn more energy every single day, irrespective of any exercise that you may be doing. That’s why the more muscle we have, the easier it is to lose weight. Resistance training allows us to take advantage of all aspects of fitness – strength, cardiovascular, balance, neurological, power, functional fitness, and it makes you feel good. It is suggested that strength training be performed 2-3 times per week to take advantage of these benefits.
Benefits of exercise / physical activity
In addition to the specific benefits from each type of exercise outlined above, all forms of exercise have been shown to contribute to improvements in your energy levels, your sleeping patterns, your mood and your overall health and fitness, including lifetime health outcomes. People who get the recommended regular physical activity or exercise can reduce the risk of many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.