A senior man and a young woman participating in spin

How one HIIT exercise regimen can help you manage Parkinson’s symptoms

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Exercise has been shown to significantly help people live well with Parkinson’s. It can improve stability, balance, muscle strength, and improve motor symptoms. One exercise regimen in particular, known as HIIT, has been yielding promising results as a way to manage symptoms of Parkinson’s while simply being an enjoyable workout.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It describes a cardiovascular workout where the participant takes turns between short bursts of intense exercise and short periods of low-intensity rest.

An example of HIIT is sprinting for a minute, switching to an even-paced jog or walk for another minute, then repeating these two intervals for the rest of the workout. How long each interval is and how many times they should be repeated can vary. The longer the workout, the more intense it is.

There are recorded benefits that a 20-minute HIIT workout is as beneficial, if not more so, than a 60-minute workout while also being more enjoyable.

Many exercises can fit into a HIIT workout regimen. But one in particular already has proven benefits for people living with Parkinson’s.

HIIT spin – an exercise you can try

Stationary cycling, or spin, may hold specific keys to living well with Parkinson’s. In fact, spin was the subject of a study on the impact of HIIT on people living with Parkinson’s. The study was funded by people like you through the Parkinson Canada National Research Program.

A HIIT workout involving spin can be done in three simple steps:

  1. Pedal furiously for one minute, at 90% of your maximum capacity
  2. Slow to a more relaxed pace for another minute
  3. Repeat these two intervals for 20 minutes

A fitness tracker or heart rate monitor can help you determine what intensity you are at.

Group spin events such as Parkinson’s Revolution allow you to join a community of people determined to fight through their limitations and live well with Parkinson’s.

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