Jim is a mindfulness based stress reduction teacher, mPEAK Coach in Training, licensed clinical professional counselor and certified personal trainer.
John is an outstanding certified personal trainer and founder of Happy Hour Fitness.
Part of the mission here at Journey Mindfulness is to help people learn how to face the challenges of life and stress with compassion and ultimately grow stronger and become more resilient. One aspect that I have struggled with for years is my own maladaptive coping patterns to stress with food and alcohol, which is very helpful in gaining weight and unwanted belly fat. Belly fat of course can wreak havoc on your health, and as my doctor told me could lead to an early grave if I did not change course. Poor food choices and my personal favorite red wine although delicious can also impact your psychological health, relationships, and energy for the daily grind.
Practicing mindfulness can help us become aware of our minds, feelings, body, and coping patterns (See the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Here). By cultivating awareness we can then alter our ways and adapt to stress in more healthy ways if we choose to and with greater certainty of mind. One of the healthier ways I have learned to lose weight and manage stress is incorporating HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) into my my life, which is done by alternating intense bursts of activity with periods of rest, to allow for recovery. I was first introduced to the concept of HIIT by the amazing Dr. Mark Wells of Advanced Chiropractic and it sounded too good to be true but he was convincing. Then I finally took the plunge and started training with John Clingerman Jr., a Certified Personal Trainer of Happy Hour Fitness, and started to see rapid and impactful results, which made me a believer.
Have trouble finding time for exercise? Not anymore. For starters HIIT is smart and efficient, with positive fitness results the same or better in less time. HIIT workouts should be about 15 to 30 minutes. The greater the intensity (with safety and stability) the better the results. HIIT is actually enjoyable, interesting, and can be FUN! In one study with new exercisers they reported HIIT to be more fun than steady-paced cardio. Keeping something interesting is one aspect of Flow States that can be key for improving peak performance cultivated in the cutting edge mPEAK program at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness.
It is not just for crossfitters and the super fit, in fact people with diabetes, heart disease, and heart failure can benefit (under proper physician evaluation and supervision). In fact it is a common prescription for cardiac patients in recovery at the Mayo Clinic. However, please note that this is done under care of physicians. So it is no surprise that HIIT can be good for your heart and improving blood flow.
Effort does not always have to be maximum (read 80-90%) to have benefits either. This is also where mindfulness of body and mind can be helpful to improve training and limit the potential in injury not just with peak performers but with us regular folk. Research has also found that measurable positive outcomes occurred in just two weeks or six workouts in fitness and metabolism. This is also due to positive adaptations that occur within the nervous system. HIIT doesn’t have to be your main form of training and can also complement moderate cardio in between days for maximum benefit, and can be a great change of pace.
HIIT workouts can incorporate fun, exciting, and new variations to even the most common exercises. Take the push-up for example. You can make this fitness staple part of your HIIT workout for varying degrees of fitness. From beginner to advanced. You have standard push-ups all the way to plyometric push-ups, which Jim and myself have incorporated into his fitness training.
Another benefit which Jim mentions above is that with the ability to cater to so many fitness levels, we can create a constantly growing and evolving workout. This enables us to keep your muscles ever growing with the benefit of muscle confusion. Muscle confusion is important for the body, because it keeps your muscles from becoming used to one move over and over.
As well as keeping your mind entertained with new moves. This will help keep you on track to keep your body mindful and fresh. It’s almost like putting a brand new pair of socks on every day.
HIIT workouts make it easy for all age levels to get involved in fitness. As well as people with varying degrees of health issues. There are benefits for everyone from diabetics to people with cardiovascular issues involving the heart. HIIT workouts are one of the best ways to get your blood flowing and increase your oxygen levels. Making your heart more efficient with everything from lifting the heaviest weights all the way to walking through the supermarket. This will also help your mood by stimulating your body to release endorphins to your brain in turn making you a much happier person !
HIIT workouts are a good substitute for people trying to quit smoking, drinking alcohol, or even late night eating. Throw in a good 15-20 minute HIIT workout and it will make you feel like your ready to conquer the world!
It’s an enjoyable workout to be had for all. I encourage you all to check back in with us with your results from your own HIIT WORKOUTS! Hope you enjoy this article and maybe it will encourage some people to take a new step into their fitness journey.