12 minutes per week vs. 90-180 minutes per week for cardio:
Which would you choose? Which could you commit to?
One of the limiting factors of people sticking to an effective exercise program and healthy lifestyle (and hence seeing results) is the time commitment. This is another one of those cases where you can make a dramatic difference by choosing quality over quantity.
We know that a body responds to the stresses placed on it. This is how we build muscle, bone, and improve our cardiovascular system. Therefore, we want to make sure we incorporate forms of exercise that adequately challenge the body so that it needs to adapt to improve. Recent research tells us that while low/moderate jogging, brisk walking, stair master/eliptical machine, etc for 30 -60 minutes 3-4 days/week are beneficial for cardiovascular health and improving metabolism, it is not nearly as efficient (and even as effective) as doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), otherwise known as Sprint Interval Training in just a fraction of the time. In fact, to get the same effects, one study in a review of the literature showed that actual exercise time was 42x less for the HIIT group than the low/moderate exercise group.
Pilates, has so many wonderful benefits, but the one place that Pilates (in the traditional sense) may not be as efficient at is boosting cardiovascular fitness and metobolic rate for those interested in weight loss as it is a low/moderate form of exercise. So, how can we incorporate HIIT in a Pilates class or session? Let me introduce you to a great piece of equipment that we use at ProBalance called the Xiser.
The Xiser, at first glance, looks like one of those cheap mini-steppers that you might buy at your local discount store, but it is actually a smooth, quiet, hardcore piece of equipment that is actually found in training rooms of several professional sports teams. What it does is essentially give the user the convenience and equivalent of sprinting up stadium steps for a minute. Without breaking a sweat, you maximize your workload, you breath harder than you ever would after a brisk walk or jog, and you move in a way that doesn’t pound the joints and is consistent with our principles of alignment, balance, and control. We are able challenge an elite athlete in the same way we can challenge a beginner since the resistance is increased as the force is increased.
We often incorporate 3 to 4 one minute intervals in a 55 minute class or session when we want to incorporate this additional component. Our clients and patients love it, and it’s such an ideal fit for the Pilates studio.
Interested in purchasing? Click here and use our ID 110425.0923.