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How to Know What Intensity to Exercise at For the Best Results

Oct 12, 2022

If you are like most people in this world, the thought of starting to exercise is a daunting and scary one. So much so, it stops most people from scheduling this vital activity in their week. I’m sure you’ve got many, many, reasons for not starting today. Here are some of my favourites with a dollop of reality alongside;


Why “Intense” Exercise Sounds Scarier Than It Is

Whatever your clever reason, your beliefs are quite literally getting in the way of you living that longer, stronger, happier, and healthier life. Your body and mind need exercise to keep it in tip top condition. Exercise isn’t simply a method of keeping your weight down. It’s the thing that keeps your organs and physiology in good condition and enables you to age without the risk and concerns that most of you have.

When talking HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, it’s easy to be put off. But, as mentioned in previous weeks, it’s the best way for you to get heart, lung, and muscle fit. Far better than a long walk, taking a fraction of the time. It isn’t a type of exercise just for the 20-something, fit and healthy crowd. It’s for everyone. The “high intensity” bit is a personal thing meaning, as long as it’s “high intensity” for you. The best trainers and instructors will keep you at a level safe for you and use the right type of exercises for your body, even if you have a few problems, aches or pains.

You don’t need fancy monitors, or to count your breaths, or heart rate. Just make sure you feel you are working hard. You want and need to feel your heart pumping and get a bit sweaty (more on that here). You also want to feel out of breath, unable to chat and take about 30 seconds to recover.

The “Interval Training” bit of HIIT means you push yourself for short bursts, or intervals only. It will feel hard for 20-40 seconds only. Then you have a set period for recovery before going again. This cycle can be repeated as I show below.



20 seconds exercise followed by 40 seconds of recovery

Repeat 3-5 times



30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds of recovery

Repeat 5 times



40seconds of exercise followed by 20 seconds of recovery.

Repeat 5 times.


Why HIIT Works

I could bore you for hours on the science behind it but simply put, sudden changes in your activity level and intensity (which occur in HIIT), provide the trigger needed for your body to adapt to cope with it. It’s that simple. Your body builds resilience and adaptability based on the demands you put on it. If you never push the intensity level you work out, you will never get any fitter / stronger. You will only regress and deteriorate, becoming more unfit and weaker.

This speeds up with age and leads to all the bad stuff I talked about the previous weeks.

The bit that is vital, is for you to feel SAFE whilst pushing yourself.


That’s where we come in to help.


It can be a scary thing to push yourself and start exercising in the right way. We all know we need to do it but the common thoughts in your head are numerous! “Am I going to make my old problem come back or worse again?”, “Am I going to ache for days after this?”, “Is this going to push my heart too much and give myself a hear attack?”, “Am I going to do myself long term damage?”. These are common worries our clients have had before starting a HIIT type programme. Thankfully they are so delighted to realise that none of this is true. When you do the right exercise for you and start and progress in the right way you will start noticing the benefits within weeks.

The only thing guaranteed is that if you never practice exerting yourself, your fitness and strength levels will only ever get worse. You must do something specific to help progress you from where you are now on the fitness and strength front if you want to live a long, healthy, and happy life. There is no getting out of exercise if you want this.

Age is irrelevant. There is always something that can be done that will help you get fitter and stronger.


Your 2 Choices

You’ve got 2 options open to you:

PROGRESS and feel fitter, healthier, and happier than you have in years, prevent the age-related changes your body, mind and muscles will go under after the age of 30.

REGRESS and let those old aches, pains and ailments come back and worsen, increasing your risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, dementia, age related muscles weakness and falls, osteoporosis to name a few.


The choice is yours. The right choice may feel hard for a few weeks whilst you build new habits, but the other option will make you feel worse long term and lead to you getting stiffer then older.

It’s up to you.


If you are interested in progressing, please do call us on 01548 852355 or email [email protected]. We will organise a FREE, no obligation appointment with one of our therapists to discuss how you can start the process.


Be wise. Choose progress. Make your life better, healthier and easier in the long term!

That is all


With love,

Vic and the HealthHub Team

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