A view before sunrise during my morning walk.
Did you know?
“Exercise Before Surgery Slashes Post-op Complications”
That’s a headline I found for an article written by Lynn Allison. I’m having eye surgery tomorrow. Then in September some minor outpatient surgery. So the article caught my eye.
Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand say that intense exercise before surgery reduces the risk of postoperative complications as well as hospital stays by as much as 56%, says Study Finds.
“We have found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is safe and effective for surgical patients,” says lead investigator Kari Clifford, of the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Otago. “A HIIT program can meaningfully improve a patient’s fitness within four to six weeks, and this reduces postoperative complications and length of stay.”
The work analyzed 12 studies including 832 patients who engaged in HIIT before their surgeries. The training involved repeated aerobic interval exercises at about 80% of their maximum heart rate before going into active recovery.
The most significant result was the change in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) — a measure of how well the body takes in oxygen and delivers it to the muscles and organs during prolonged periods of exercise. The significant improvement in CRF lowers the risk of adverse postoperative events, says Clifford, in a university press release.https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/hiit-high-intensity-interval-training-surgery/2023/07/21/id/1128061/
If high-intensity interval training is good for post op recovery, that must transfer to everyday life. I reflected on my own workout routines. I realized that my slow and steady walks and swims are not getting the job done.
When I swam with my Master’s coach, he’d change up the pace. He’d have me swim 75s or 100s alternating “fast and slow.” Like swim 25 easy, 25 sprint, 25 slow for a 75 four times through. I was changing my heart rate. Without a coach, I leisurely swim laps not changing pace, because I’m proud to show up. Period. There’s nobody to push me. Not even my husband. I watch him sprint during his last two hundred yards and worry that he’ll have a heart attack.
We have an assault fitness bike gathering dust. Yesterday I got on it and sprinted for 20 seconds followed by 30 seconds easy a few times. Yes, it got my heart rate going. It’s something I’ll repeat each day and build on. When I swim laps, I’m going to throw in some interval training and sprint a few 25s. It can’t hurt.
What are your thoughts about high-intensity interval training? Is it something you incorporate in your workouts? Do you think you can be too old for HIIT?
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