Are HIIT Workouts Safe for Older Adults?

Are HIIT Workouts Safe for Older Adults?

Thumbnail image from Pixabay

By Mark Grevelding, personal trainer and creator of PoolFit 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts have been popular in the fitness industry for the past several years. You may be wondering exactly what HIIT is and whether or not it is appropriate for your fitness level. 

Unlike steady-state aerobic exercise, HIIT is a form of interval training that features short bouts of intense exercise, followed by a rest period. HIIT is designed to push the body into an anaerobic state, where you are exercising at 80 to 90% of maximal heartrate. Research shows that HIIT burns more calories in a shorter amount of time and result in greater fat loss, as compared to aerobic workouts.  

How to make HIIT workouts safe

All that sounds good, but the problem is that the exercises in a typical HIIT session tend to be higher impact, which poses a greater risk of injury. However, there is a solution: Take your HIIT workouts to the pool. In the pool, you can exercise vigorously with little or no joint impact.  Surrounded by the water’s viscosity, large movements encounter more resistance, forcing the heart to pump oxygenated blood more forcefully to outstretched limbs. This results in a higher heartrate and a quicker pathway to the anaerobic threshold, where the body stops using oxygen and instead taps into stored energy. HIIT workouts generate fuel from the body’s glucose supplies. Once glucose is depleted, the energy source utilized for the workout is stored body fat.  

The important thing to know is that you can achieve these results just as effectively in a pool. HIIT water exercise is much more appropriate for seniors due to a lower risk of injury. Regardless of whether you manage to get your heartrate in the anaerobic zone, following along with a HIIT workout in the pool is fun and challenging. 

When it doubt, jump in the pool to get your body moving. Image from Pixabay

About the Author 

Mark Grevelding is the founder of PoolFit, the only workout platform that specializes in water fitness and aquatic exercise. PoolFit’s on-demand exercise video platform and app provide nearly 100 water exercises and low impact, in-home fitness programs, including dozens of HIIT Water Workouts. He is a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association. Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and an education provider for the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and American Council on Exercise (ACE). To learn more about PoolFit or subscribe for 30 days of free water fitness, please visit   


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