Lorie Johnson

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Lose Weight in 30-Second Spurts?


The latest health science proves that the new exercise trend not only helps you lose weight, but makes you healthier. It's called HITT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I've tried it and can attest to the results.

The only problem is, it violates one of the cardinal rules of exercise: do something that you like.

Those HITT classes at my gym are always packed, but I have yet to find a person who actually enjoys the workout! If you don't like your form of exercise, research shows you are less likely to continue with it. Nevertheless, people do seem to stick with it because they must like the results.

The key to HITT, or simply interval training as some people call it, is pushing yourself to the absolute maximum energy output you are capable of. In other words, run like you are literally running for your life. It hurts! And you can't do it for long before your body gives out.

Going full-strength, in a sprint, whether you are running, biking, swimming, climbing stairs, or what have you, only lasts for a short period of time before you burn out. Most intervals consist of 30-second spurts. Then you rest for a minute or two and do it again.

You don't want your heart rate to go back down to normal between sprints, but you do want to make sure that you are rested enough to go again.

One of the most appealing aspects to interval training is that most of these workouts are short...much shorter than traditional workouts. You can find trainers who recommend as few as a couple minutes of high intensity interval training only a couple of days a week, to trainers who recommend 20 to 30 minutes of interval training one to three times a week. That's less of a time commitment we're used to hearing we need to make to maintain good cardiovascular health.

A word of caution: don't try interval training if you are not used to exercising at all. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Compared to traditional exercise regimes, HIIT is superior in that it boosts the human growth hormone in ways less intense workouts do not. According to the journal Cell Metabolism, HIIT almost immediately and significantly improves the DNA, such as the genes involved in fat metabolism.

The research shows that when you exercise full-on, everything-you've got, in short bursts, your body activates genes that increase the production of fat-busting enzymes in a way that moderate exercise does not.

As if that's not enough, another study showed the importance of HIIT on the reduction of diabetes. After only two weeks of HIIT, consisting of three workouts a week, the participants noticed they were able to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. Another study showed people suffering from Type 2 diabetes were able to improve their blood sugar levels for 24 hours after just one session of HIIT. That's pretty impressive.

HIIT has been shown to activate mitochondria, the precious building blocks of our cells that provide us with the vital energy we all want and need to live our lives efficiently. Scientists say the reason HIIT promotes mitochondrial formation is because it causes STRESS on the body.

This does not happen when you are simply walking or performing some other type of low intensity exercise. It's the stress, the taking your body to its limit, that causes this wonderful mitochondrial reaction.

Bt let's face it, you pay a price. It hurts. But it's worth it. Other stressors that improve the mitochondria are fasting and calorie restriction. ame theme...tricking your body, throwing it a curve-ball causes it to work harder and ultimately work better.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:25 PM



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