High interval intensity workouts (HIIT) – which consists of short bursts of intense exercises with rest periods in between and lasting around half an hour – seem to be the buzzword lately, with most of the gym operators offering such classes in their schedules. These workouts are known to be difficult, as they comprise of different types of exercises in order to reach the desired level of intensity – for instance, burpees, squat jumps, and press ups are just a few that are involved.
However, according to an article in The Independent, Dr Panteleimon Ekkekakis, a professor who teaches kinesiology at the Iowa State University, has warned that most people may not be able to sustain this form of exercise for long periods of time. He explained that such workouts may actually discourage, instead of the other way around, people from exercising in the long run because of how tough the workouts are. “There’s a price to pay,” Dr Ekkekakis said in an interview with The Daily Mail, “as people feel very put off from the intensity levels”. According to him, they become dissuaded from having a regular exercise regime in the long run, and find exercising “to be a chore”.
He goes on to suggest that instead of associating exercise to be something “punishing”, people should integrate it into their daily lives. For instance, instead of thinking ‘I have to bike this number of kilometres this week to clock mileage’, he suggests going on bike rides with family or friends. Similarly, instead of running by yourself in stadiums or parks, opt for going for long walks with your dog.
Although these methods are more time-consuming and less aerobic as compared to HIIT workouts, Dr Ekkekakis believes that a more relaxed approach to exercise in general could benefit to those who do not associate workouts with anything pleasant.
By Nicholas Woo