What Precautions Seniors Should Take With High Intensity Interval Training?
Whereas it is one of the most effective methods for boosting fitness, HIIT training is meant for the active people. It is extremely demanding on your body, especially in case of the seniors.
Because of the high intensity, HIIT training comes with potential risk for injury. This is particularly so when you do it with little knowledge and care. This means you must know & follow certain rules & guidelines to do HIIT safely.
First I will share with you precautions & safety rules for doing HIIT at any age, & then safety rules especially for older adults & seniors.
General Precautions For High Intensity Interval Training At Any Age
Always Warm Up
Warming up is a universal rule that applies to every form of fitness training. It’s the 1st important step applicable to all workout formats, no matter how fit you are. Proper warm up not only enhances our performance – but also protects us from the risk of pulling a muscle or a tendon.
Due to the high-intensity characteristic of HIIT, the heart is put under stress. This makes a proper warm-up even more necessary, especially for those with heart conditions
Ease Into HIIT
As the saying goes, “you must walk before you can run.” This is a basic rule in starting any HIIT routine.
Don’t get tempted to dive straight into HIIT routine without considering your fitness level. HIIT’s high intensity nature makes it quite hard to start off with. Make sure to build up your fitness levels before you jump into HIIT bandwagon. Moreover, HIIT involves an increased risk of getting injuries. A much better way is to start with low-intensity exercises. And as over time your fitness level improves, you can work up your way to HIIT.
Form More Important Than Speed
Like with any other method of exercise, form is critical to achieving good performance and for reducing risk of injury. This even becomes more important in the HIIT later intervals, when you may be tired & exhausted.
Improper form is the main reason why exercise-related injuries occur. A key point of interval training is that one must maintain a pace even when he or she starts to feel exhausted. So, a safety rule here is when you find yourself breaking form, slow down. Intensity isn’t worth an injury.
Remember that maintaining both form and pace provide the best results.
Set The Right Schedule
Due to the high-intensive characteristic of HIIT, you shouldn’t be doing it every day. It is best to schedule HIIT for up to 2 sessions per week. But, in case of seniors & those who are starting out, it should be once a week.
On the other days, you can do other styles of workout routines as per your likings for a more varied regime
Always remember that your body really needs rest days to recover and prevent injuries.
HIIT Safety Rules & Precautions For Seniors
In addition to the above general HIIT guidelines, here are the main specific HIIT precautions for the seniors:
(i) Seniors must refrain from attempting any HIIT routine, if they aren’t fit and healthy enough to workout at moderately-high to high-intensities.
(ii) Never do exercises with which they aren’t familiar. Remember to learn correct form & first practice the exercises at lower intensities/slower speeds before building up their intensity level.
(iii) If they are suffering from joint or other bone-related issues, better avoid performing high-impact exercises,
(iv) For the seniors who aren’t fit enough, they should be patient and work their way up to HIIT. Begin with shorter workout periods and longer rest intervals. Choose activities/exercises, which requires effort levels that are challenging enough – but not too intense.
(v) The seniors should immediately stop during an HIIT session and consult a doctor if they feel serious fatigue, nauseous, dizzy or short of breath during or after any workout.
Note: If you have any medical condition, first talk to your doctor and get his/her ok before starting any HIIT routine.