One of the main reasons for all of the attention being given to interval training in the fitness industry is that it can improve fitness quickly, which is great news for busy people who don’t want to spend 2 hours in the gym.
Designing Interval Workoutsnewsletter_teaser: One of the main reasons for all of the attention being given to interval training in the fitness industry is that it can improve fitness quickly, which is great news for busy people who don’t want to spend 2 hours in the gym. Interval training manipulates four variables: time (or distance), intensity, time of each recovery period and number of repetitions. With so many possible combinations of these four elements, the potential for variety is nearly unlimited. Possibly the greatest use of interval training lies in its ability to target individual energy systems and physiological variables, improving specific aspects of clients’ fitness levels.
Tai chi may be a beneficial form of physical activity for long-term cardiac rehabilitation patients, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (2010; doi:10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2010.11.001). Study subjects were adults aged 45 and older attending phase III cardiac rehabilitation; the aim was to describe differences in physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning between those who practiced tai chi and those did not.
Cardiovascular physical activity has long been a go-to means for improving heart health. A study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2010; 24 , 2846-52) indicates that resistance training may also prove beneficial for the heart. The small study included 10 male subjects who completed two forms of exercise: upper- and lower-body resistance training consisting of 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 65% of 1-repetition maximum; and 30 minutes of cycling at 65% of VO2peak.
Widely used recommendations for determining heart rate maximum (HRmax) in women have been called into question. According to researchers, the popular formula of 220 – Age = HRmax may produce numbers too high for optimal female physical health. After studying how HR response to exercise stress testing was associated with age and death rates among 5,437 asymptomatic women over about 16 years, scientists settled on a new calculation: 206 – (Age x 0.88) = HRmax.
The American Heart Association has recently released an updated guide to CPR. The 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC includes the following changes to previous CPR protocol:
Compression rate should be at least 100 compressions per minute, as opposed to “approximately” 100 per minute.
Compression depth should be at least 2 inches in adults, approximately 2 inches in children and 1.5 inches in infants.
Anyone who grew up as a runner in New Jersey, as I did, would tell you that running during the summer in the Northeastern United States is no ordinary challenge. Some days are downright sticky; stepping outside your air-conditioned house can feel like walking into a steam room. Similarly, many places in the country experience harsh summer conditions that carry thermal and cardiovascular challenges. Knowing how to handle these will protect your clients.
Lloyd-Jones, D.M., et al., on behalf of the American Heart Association Strategic Planning Task Force and Statistics Committee. 2010. Defining and setting national goals for cardiovascular health promotion and disease reduction: The American Heart Association’s Strategic Impact Goal through 2020 and beyond. Circulation, 121, 586–613.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently issued its proactive agenda for the next decade by releasing a strategic plan for measuring, monitoring and improving the cardiovascular health of Americans.
Jason Karp’s article, “The Fat-Burning Zone” [October 2009 IDEA Fitness Journal], was very informative as to the mechanisms by which fat is oxidized. I agree that high-intensity interval training is an excellent way to burn more calories and increase cardiovascular fitness. However, I take exception to his specific workout recommendations that we should have our clients doing 5–6 reps of 3-minute intervals at 95%–100% max HR or 4 reps of 4-minute intervals at 95%–100% max HR.
Do you have a client who experiences difficulty executing the sit-and-reach test? If so, inadequate flexibility may not be the only issue plaguing him. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology (October 2009; , 1314–18) found that persons over 40 who experience limited trunk flexibility may also suffer from arterial stiffness. The study included 526 nonobese adults aged 20–83 years with no known chronic disease.