KC Craichy’s SuperHealth Podcast: Gasping for Air

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Posted on 14th October 2013 by admin in Super Health

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Last week on LivingFuelTV, we introduced you to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) a proven form of exercise that we’ve been speaking and writing about for years.  HIIT is a short duration workout where you go at an all-out effort for a short period, rest, then repeat 7-10 times.  Studies and research are piling up on the remarkable benefits of HIIT.

While you may not be physically ready for an all-out sprint up a staircase, there are steady “steps” you can take toward this effort.  Remember: the journey is the destination!  In fact, startly slowly and building fitness over a longer period of time may actually be more beneficial than quicker results.  Consistent and gradual fitness gains tend to re-program your mind and solidify a new, healthy lifestyle that reaps physical benefits for years!

After last week’s episode, we’ve been asked How do I get started safely and in proportion to my fitness level? The answer is the topic of today’s episode.

[Audio Transcription]

Welcome to LivingFuelTV. This is KC Craichy.

Many people get out of breath simply walking up two flights of stairs. Are you one of them? Imagine that this can actually be the key to your fitness; to take the stairs instead of the elevator, to park the car a little farther away at the mall. Recently, we talked about high-intensity interval training being a true key to long-term fitness. In fact, more powerful than a long run or endless cardio on a treadmill, is doing short burst, 20 to 30 second exercises, doing 6 or 7 in a row, and then beyond that when you’re more fit. Interestingly, we got a lot of feedback on a recent show we did on high-intensity interval training. We did it on the benefits of high-intensity interval training, and some of the methods. This time, we’re going to talk more about how to do it in a safe manner, because this can be very dangerous if you don’t think through it all the way. If you’re one of the people who get winded walking up the stairs, then probably, your best bet is to start taking the stairs, then taking an extra flight of stairs, until you feel comfortable with even walking for 20 up the stairs, or 30 seconds up the stairs, before you want to run up the stairs.

High-intensity interval training, to review the discussion, is that . . . what you do is get out of breath for 20 seconds to 30 seconds if you’re really fit. For some people, that is literally walking up the stairs. For other people, it’s swimming really fast across the pool, then resting, and swimming back. Some people, it’s doing sprints. The down side to these things is if you’re not used to doing sprints and you go out there and do sprints, you can pull a hamstring or something else. You can get hurt doing high-intensity interval training if you’re not paying attention or doing things that are not designed for your fitness level. For instance, if you have not done high-intensity interval training before and you also are not used to being on a treadmill, then don’t do high-intensity interval training on a treadmill.

I personally cannot do high-intensity training on a treadmill because I feel very unstable. Literally, you are running until you are out of gas at a very high pace, and then once you’re completely out of gas, you got to somehow get it back under control, without falling off the treadmill. In that particular case, I prefer the stationary bike to the treadmill, because once you’re done, you can rest for the interval and get your complete breath back, or 90% of your breath back, and then do it again. When you’re first starting, you can do it 3 times, and then the next, you can do it 4, the next time you can do it 5, and then work your way up to and 7 and beyond, when your fitness level allows that. Don’t go out and do something you’re not used to doing and take it to the very max.

I’ve found that people who are not as fit, generally will get to go towards the 20-second mark, the 22, or 23-second mark of full-out running, and generally, they are really not at max, they’re just are at a much higher level than typically they would go. At a hotel for instance, many times at a hotel, even if they have a gym, I’ll find the stairwell and run up 8 flights of steps, and then figure out what is the 30-second mark, where you’re running up, and then walk back down, and when you get your breath back, run back up. It’s a very powerful exercise. Others will, in fact, run. If you go for a jog, if you’re used to running for 5 miles, try this a little differently. Say I’m going to run for 1 or 2 miles, and when I get warmed up, I’m going to just sprint for 50 steps; 50-step sprint, just count then. Then you can jog or walk until you get your breath back and do it again. You’ll find that within a mile or so, you have done 5, 6, or 7 50- yard sprints, and you have really now increased your fitness level over having taken that 5-mile run.

There’s a lot of ways to do this, but I recommend not doing the ones that would be more dangerous to start with. For instance, don’t get on a bike and go out and do sprints on a bike if you’re not used to being on a bike and if you’re not that fit. Many times, I’ll go on a bike ride and I’ll do the same concept, 50 to 100 fast peddles, and then relax and breathe while the bike is coasting. That is the time you can get in trouble. Be careful, work your way up to this. Again, my preference the heavy bag, but you really need to mix it up; heavy bag, sprints, bike, all of these things. You can actually sit here and tense your muscles, and go one and the other, like this. Literally you can do this, tense them so hard both ways, that you literally become out of breath. You continue doing this until you are out of breath, and then do it again and again.

Let your imagination be your guide, but don’t allow yourself to do things that are going to put you in a dangerous situation. Also, you’re only going to really want to do this 2 to 3 times a week, with some spacing in the middle, and do your other exercises on the off days. This is very intense. It’s a neurological workout, it’s a physical workout, it’s a resistance workout. This is a very powerful scenario you can really use to ratchet up your health.

I hope this was helpful to you. God bless you. Have a great day.

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