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The I’s Have It

Getting Hip To HIIPA

The confusion over HIIPA begins with the latest fittest trend’s abbreviation often being mistaken for another similarly lettered acronym, HIPAA. Who knew, right? I still have to concentrate on getting the medical compliance act’s acronym correct – and now there is HIIPA. I digress, but here is what I want to share with you: Learning about HIIPA can have an extraordinary advantage in converting just about any ordinary activity into an effective, health-rewarding workout. While both HIIPA and HIPAA benefit our health, only one can change it!

The I’s have it when it comes to making sure you are referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or requesting a trainer fully dressed in zebra print spandex ready to hit you with a little high-intensity incidental physical activity (HIIPA). The fitness trend comes with a significant advantage in that it can be done virtually anywhere and can be finished in less than 60 seconds! The biggest bonus is that studies have shown that high-intensity incidental training (HIIPA) may rival high-intensity interval training (HIIT) results.

While the focus with exercise routines has been go hard or go home, the subtle importance of incorporating daily high-intensity incidental physical activity (HIIPA) was placed on the back shelf; better yet, in the closet! Making time for exercise every day with no exclusions/exceptions was the mantra, and for many lacking the time or endurance, sustaining motivation was lost. In a perfect world far away from here, maybe that mantra works – but not here on Earth. With such unrealistic expectations or unreasonable routines, fitness has left many giving up even trying.

But no more! So, throw your hands in the air, and wave ’em….wait, I am sure you know the rest. Simply put, the fitness world is changing! Health and wellness are redefining fitness expectations. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it is consistency and continuous bouts of movement that are the key to empowering our results and motivating our long-term goals. HIIPA is extremely easy and is associated with the results many are looking for from exercise: an increase in life expectancy and lower cardiovascular risk.

Are you ready to get moving toward a stronger, healthier you? I’ve got you covered with how it works and how to get started with designing your HIIPA workout! (As always, consult with your primary care physician before beginning any new physical activity or exercise regime – especially if you have not done any high-intensity physical activity recently.)

Short bursts of activity throughout the day offer the same opportunity to incorporate physical activity without having to squeeze maintaining health into our busy lives. Focus on building those daily routines and getting a good “huff and puff” that is realistic for your body and your day! And, take a no-excuses mindset when it comes to “getting HIIPA” in gaining significant health benefits.

HIIPA STEP 1:  The Workout

Choose three daily activities according to your routine for the day/week. This will vary by person depending on fitness level. Below are some examples to get you started:

  • Gardening
  • Carrying groceries
  • Carrying children
  • Cleaning the house
  • Climbing stairs
  • Mulching the yard
  • Shoveling snow
  • Taking the stairs
  • Vacuuming
  • Walking the dog
  • Walking brisky to catch the bus, run errands or get to work
HIIPA STEP 2:  The Focus

As you’re doing activities, focus on pushing yourself to move or pick up the pace enough to feel like you are getting breathless. You should feel like you could talk but would not want to carry a conversation. Short huffs and puffs are the focus here.

HIIPA STEP 3:  The Breakdown

Get significant benefits by engaging in three to five sessions a week. Focus on short bursts of activity in anything done on a daily basis. Start by breaking up each session into 6-second to 4-minute intervals with rest breaks in between for 30 seconds to 4 minutes. Completed sessions can total as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day.

HIIPA STEP 4:  The Results

Rated E for everyone! Safe, practical, and achievable! For anyone who is young, mature, least fit, most fit, lacking time, limited mobility, and anything else. All bodies benefit from making time to increase effort and movement throughout the day.

HIIPA STEP 5:  The Bottom Line

Intensity and consistency are vital to improving fitness and cardiovascular health.  Studies show that our varying body types, health conditions, and age affect how each of our bodies process exercise. Short burst of movement can improve anyone’s health by simply using an activity to get the heart pumping. Sticking with a realistic exercise routine is how anyone can improve individual health outcomes.

JUST FOR FUN: Google HIIPA and see what happens. The I’s won’t have it.

Erika D. White is a fitness professional focused on shaking things up and promoting change by motivating others to run with life while remaining dedicated to faith, family, friends and fitness. She is the Vice Chair of Healthy Lucas County’s Executive Committee.

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