top of page

4-Minute HIIT Exercise Routine Equivalent to 150' of Moderate Exercise?

It is hard to believe that short bursts of intense exercise can be even more effective that long stints at the gym. And yet, the science shows again and again that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) yields much greater benefits than long walks or pumping a bicylce for miles and miles.

In previous videos, I have talked about the importance of a small molecule made by the body that is essential for almost everything else that happens. It is called nitric oxide, and actually comes in 3 forms, specific for blood vessels, nerves and immune system. Because nitric oxide opens blood vessels to deliver oxygen and nutrients, it is arguably the foundation molecule for everything else you do, making exercise more efficient, and delivering the benefits of your food and supplements more effectively. And, because most of us make very little nitric oxide after age 40, there is considerable evidence that this drop in nitric oxide levels contributes to heart disease, dementia, cancer and other signs of aging. If you are older than 40, you really need to focus on this.

As it turns out, using a 4-minute HIIT simple exercise routine to move major muscle groups can help your body make its own nitric oxide. This exercise sequence is straightforward, does not require any special equipment, and the video by Zach Bush, MD in this link shows some options for people with shoulder or knee pain that may be limiting. I find I can do this next to my desk wearing most business casual clothing. In the amount of time waiting to boil water for tea, I have pumped up my nitric oxide levels and can actually feel the tingle of opening blood vessels in the fingertips and more mental alertness. A great start to the day, and repeat during the 3-4pm afternoon slump, then in the evening before crashing on the couch. Research studies show that just 1 minute of appropriately-performed HIIT could equal 45' of slower exercise.

Here is more detail that I share with my patients, as well as another exercise video link.