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Kelowna  

Time to HIIT it

While we know high-intensity interval training or (HIIT) is time-efficient and good for our health, researchers are still curious to determine if less active users are willing to do it.

"In fact, limited research has examined exactly how inactive people perceive HIIT—which consists of multiple short bouts of intense exercise," said Matthew Stork, a PhD candidate in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Stork recently completed a study comparing inactive people’s feelings and enjoyment of HIIT to traditional long-duration aerobic exercise. He found that inactive people who tried the high intensity exercise for the first time found it just as enjoyable as traditional exercise.

“The number one cited barrier to physical activity is a perceived lack of time, and research has shown that as little as 10 minutes of HIIT, three times per week can elicit meaningful health benefits,” says Stork. “The concern is that short bursts of intense exercise may be perceived as unpleasant, especially for those who aren’t physically active to begin with.”

Stork wanted to know how people felt about their high intensity exercise experience both during and after their sessions. He also hoped to determine whether feelings, ranging from pleasure to displeasure, during a HIIT session could predict the likelihood of completing the same exercise outside of the lab.

“We wanted to learn more about people’s perceptions towards HIIT and ultimately determine if even inactive people are willing to do these types of exercises on their own free time,” says Stork.

To test his idea, Stork and his team recruited 30 inactive men and women who had never tried HIIT before. Each participant completed high intensity and traditional moderate intensity exercise on a stationary bike in the lab. 

Stork’s study was recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise with funding from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.



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