By Cindy Whitmarsh, a certified personal trainer, nutritionist and fitness correspondent for Good Morning San Diego.
The popularity of High Intensity Interval Training (“HIIT”) has surged, and if you haven’t tried it yet now is the time. I just released three new DVDs based on HITT, which I call my Ultra Focused Interval Training (UFIT) program.
What exactly is HIIT? It’s a workout that is meant to push speed, endurance, and strength to the next level. You perform activities at a VERY high intensity for short bursts, or intervals, and you complete multiple sets of these intervals with minimal rest between them. This drives your heart rate up, forcing your body to adapt and accommodate.
Just what do I mean by “adapt”? With HIIT, you’ll burn calories in the moment but you will also increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (“EPOC”) which basically means that you’ll continue to burn more calories even long after your workout is over. This can will lead to significant changes in muscle tone and strength, along with a reduction in body fat.
By Team Best Life
Walking is the ideal exercise for so many reasons (nearly everyone can do it and the risk of injury is low, to name just a couple). But admittedly, it can get a little monotonous. If you’re looking for a slight change, head off the beaten path. Off-road walking can up the exercise ante in just the way you need to break up your walking routine. Check out four reasons why off-roading is worth a try:
You get built-in interval training.
One of the side benefits of off-road walking, particularly if the path you’re taking is hilly, is the inherent interval training it supports. Interval training—intense bursts of exercise followed by recovery periods—translates to more burned calories and increased endurance. Try increasing your speed periodically to make it even more intense. (more…)
Health benefits from exercise don’t have to come from long bouts of cardio at the gym or around your local high school track. A new study involving teens in Scotland has found that short bursts of high-intensity exercise is best for cardiovascular health.
In the study, researchers split kids into two groups: one doing high-intensity workouts, the other moderate intensity. The high-intensity group did a series of 20-meter sprints over 30 seconds, and the kids in the moderate-intensity group ran steadily for 20 minutes.
By the end of the allotted time of seven weeks, both groups showed real improvements in cardiovascular fitness. Their blood pressure, insulin resistance and body composition all improved. However, what set the high-intensity group apart was that they got the aforementioned health benefits by only doing 15 percent of the exercise time done by the kids in the moderate-intensity group. (more…)
We’ve all heard at one time or another that exercise is good for heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease. In fact, that’s why we call it “cardio.” For many years, doctors and fitness professionals (including me!) have told patients and clients to be sure to get regular steady state cardio most days of the week for at least 30 minutes a day. While this advice is still solid, new research is showing that when it comes to exercise and heart health, sometimes a sprint is better than a marathon.
According to new research recently published in the American Journal of Human Biology, when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease in adolescents, short-duration high-intensity exercise may be more beneficial for the heart than traditional endurance training that emphasizes a lower intensity for a longer amount of time. Researchers from the University of the West of Scotland recruited a group of volunteer school-aged children, and found that after seven weeks of regular exercise, those adolescents who did a short series of 20-meter sprints that only took minutes had just as many heart-health benefits as students who ran at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes, three times a week.
Fitness and weight loss is a science. Personal trainers, coaches, doctors and others in the health field know this, because we’ve studied it at length and have devoted our lives to it.
Unfortunately, most of what the general public knows about weight loss is what they hear on TV, read in magazines or glean from late night infomercials. The problem with that? Everyone is trying to sell you something. They don’t have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to confuse you into thinking they have the one, true answer, when, in fact, everyone knows the answer to weight loss: a healthy diet and consistent exercise.
There are a few insider tid bits that don’t make it to the general public very often, because it doesn’t help anyone sell machines or diet pills or meal plans. Sorry if any of these shatter your weight loss world as you know it, but knowledge is power, folks.