Have you ever felt frustrated by not having time to fit in a workout? Did you know that working out for 10-15 minutes can be just as effective as working out for 45 minutes?
Most people wrongly believe that in order to lose weight, they have to work out more. This does not work and it takes a lot of time. Who has the time to exercise a lot every day? So you start exercising and then you stop when you get busy, sick or injured (perhaps from all that exercising.) The problem is that when you stop exercising, you keep eating like you did when you were exercising. You actually end up feeling worse because not only are you not exercising due to a lack of time, but you are gaining weight!.
When you compare low intensity steady state exercise with higher intensity interval exercise programs, you will see a lot of differences. Traditionally, lower intensity steady state exercise has gotten the a lot of attention as being the way to exercise because of research that demonstrated that greater percentage of fat calories are burned after twenty minutes of low intensity exercise (McArdle et al., 1996). Unfortunately, with this type of exercise your total energy expenditure per minute is very low so a high percentage of small amount of calories doesn’t amount to much. This means that your metabolism is not disrupted in a meaningful way and there is minimal effect on your metabolism after you finish. (Along with this concept is the corollary that the highest percentage of “fat burning” you can ever accomplish comes when you are sleeping, but that is really not effective for the same reasons.)
With higher intensity interval training, the primary source of energy is glycogen (short acting sugars) in your muscles. The body uses a lot of its glycogen stores during this type of exercise and particularly during the higher interval bursts when your body has to work hard. To replenish these glycogen stores afterwards actually increases fat metabolism and resting metabolic rate.(Whyte et al. 2010). This increase in fat metabolism and resting metabolic rate will serve to aid in weight loss and in the metabolism of fat (as opposed to carbohydrates) following exercise up to 24 hours later. So this facilitates fat loss as well as preserves lean muscle better than lower intensity exercise. (Burgomaster et al 2005). This can increase your resting metabolic rate over time due to increased lean muscle. That is also why appropriate strength training is important.
To sum it all up: when you do low intensity exercise you burn fat for the time that you spend beyond the first 20 minutes. An example of this would be that if you were to jog for 30 minutes you get 10 minutes of fat burning. With higher intensity interval training you burn fat after exercise for up to 24 hours.
How can you start a higher intensity interval training programsafely and effectively? The good news is that this does not take a lot time out of your week. In order for this to be effective you should exercise 2 to 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes. You will want to set up intervals of a 1 to 3 ratio or a 1 to 2 ratio work to recovery ratio. If you have been walking steady state for 3.0 mph on your treadmill at home, now walk at 3.0 mph for 1:30 minutes and walk faster or run for 30 seconds. If you are comfortably jogging at 6.0 mph, walk at 4.0 mph for 1:30 minutes and run at 8.0 mph for 30s. Repeat for 5 to 7 repetitions and include a 2-3 minute warm up/cool down on either side of the intervals. This will only take a total of 45 minutes to an hour of your time per week including warm up time! That is a lot more efficient than 45 minutes every day or every other day!
Lastly, another important point is how you address your food intake. Both food intake and how you exercise are very important in order to improve body composition and weight. While this blog revolved how to change workouts to simulate more change metabolically, at the Well Effect® our team of Soma Science℠ Instructors can help guide you to lose weight and improve your body composition with food intake education and physical training exercise. Reach out to us at https://welleffect.com/contact/ if you are interested in learning more about all of these components to make an impactful difference in the way you feel and look. You too can lead a whole health life!