Your Road to Wellness

Intensity Training

How much do you have to exercise to improve your endurance and aerobic fitness?

Posted by on 7:28 am Exercise, Health, Intensity Training, Research, Sports performance, Vigorous Activity, Weight loss, Wellness | 0 comments

 

A lot of people don’t exercise because they think they have to spend a lot of time doing it every week, and that does not appeal to them.  Let’s see what research has found.

Several years ago research was conducted on what was called high intensity short interval training. Since the start of that, a lot of research has been published on that topic, experimenting with different durations of exercise.

The original research started using a stationary bike doing 30 seconds intervals, peddling as hard as possible, then resting for up to 4 minutes. This was then repeated 4 to 6 times.

This regime was very effective documenting that just 2 minutes of actual exercise time produced the same results as an hour of regular intensity aerobic exercise.

So how little can you exercise and still improve your performance? Is 30 seconds interval as low as you can go?

The following research tested six sub elite triathletes comparing them with 6 endurance-trained sub elite athletes maintaining their normal training routine .(Jakeman J, et.al., 2012).

These athletes were already in good shape. It’s harder to improve the performance at that level, compared to starting with people out of shape.

6 of the participants did 10, 6 seconds sprints on a stationary bike with a resting period of 1 minute in between, 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The resistance on the bike was set to 7.5% of the body weight.

Two weeks of the high intensity short interval training resulted in a 10% decrease in a 10-km time trial.

The time taken to reach the onset of blood lactate accumulation, defined as the point where blood lactate reaches 4 mmol·L⁻¹) was significantly increased. This is another way of measuring improved aerobic fitness.

The actual exercise time was only 1 minute 3 times a week.

It is amazing, spending only 3 minutes a week for 2 weeks can improve aerobic performance.

If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, but want to spend as little time as possible exercising, this is the way to do it.

You need a stationary bike to implement this protocol, but if you have that at home, you don’t necessarily even have to do the 10 sprints at one time. You can split them up throughout the day depending on what’s most convenient for you.

Other studies has documented that it is more beneficial to be active several times a day compared to exercising longer only once a day.

Lack of time is no longer a valid reason not to exercise. Most people would most likely have 3 minutes a week to spend on exercise considering the benefits.

Reference

Jakeman J, Adamson S, Babraj J.Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Oct;37(5):976-81.

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

Do you have to be in good shape to tolerate high-intensity short interval training?

Posted by on 6:51 pm Body fat, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape, Intensity Training, Muscles, Sports performance, Tennis, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Running on treadmillHigh/intensity short/interval training is a type of exercise that stresses the body hard for a very short period of time. In other words, it is hard exercise, but you don’t have to spend much time doing it.
That you don’t have to spend much time exercising appeals to most people, but you may wonder if you can tolerate it. Is it safe to exercise this way if you are not in great shape?

The reviewed research should answer that question, but make up your own mind after reading this.

It may surprise you that anybody would even try this with people in the shape that they were. The researchers took patients with signs of chronic heart failure and had one group do high/intensity short/interval training, and had another group do the regular continuous aerobic exercise training(Koufaki P et al. 2014).

The program lasted for 6 months and the participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness at the start and at the end.

Peak oxygen uptake, sit to stand and gait speed improved equality in both groups, no difference in results.

The researchers concluded that the training adaptations were achieved in the high intensity short interval training group despite a significant reduced time commitment  and reduced work volume when compared to continuous aerobic exercise training.

There is really no reason to waist time exercising for a long period of time unless you enjoy the exercise itself. The high intensity training was also tolerated well.

Maybe it should not be a surprise that people with heart failure can exercise like this.
Years ago people were advised not to do any exercise after they had a heart attack, believing exercise would increase their risk for another heart attack. That has been changed because we know better now, that exercise is one of the things that will help prevent heart problems.

 

 

 

 
Koufaki P1, Mercer TH, George KP, Nolan J. Low-volume high-intensity interval training vs continuous aerobic cycling in patients with chronic heart failure: a pragmatic randomised clinical trial of feasibility and effectiveness. J Rehabil Med. 2014 Apr;46(4):348-56. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1278.

Can exercise be dangerous?

Posted by on 9:32 am Exercise, General Health, Intensity Training, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Maraton AvituallamientoWe have all heard that exercise is healthy and it is, but is it healthy for everybody and are all types of exercises healthy?

This is what you need to know.

When lifelong competitive endurance veteran athletes were compared with younger endurance athletes and control age-matched participants, they were found to have myocardial fibrosis which is abnormal changes to the heart muscle(Wilson M,et al. 2011).

This finding was significantly associated with the years spent training, the number of competitive marathons and ultra endurance marathons completed.

Keep in mind that this was hard endurance training and extreme endurance competition over a lifetime, it does not mean that exercise is not good, it just means that this type of activity does not seem to be the best.

Another study compared participants with coronary heart disease with different levels of physical activity(Mons U,et al. 2014). They found that participating in strenuous endurance exercises more than 5 hours per week increased cardiovascular mortality. Exercising less than twice per week also increased the risk.

What does this all mean? It means that it is important to be sure you get enough recovery time, and long hours of endurance training is not the best way of spending your time. You are more likely going to reap more benefits if you do high intensity, short interval training and include some resistance training the other days.

One of the important things to keep in mind is that recovery from the exercise is as important as the exercise itself. Without proper recovery it just adds stress.

 

Mons U, Hahmann H, Brenner H. A reverse J-shaped association of leisure time physical activity with prognosis in patients with stable coronary heart disease: evidence from a large cohort with repeated measurements. Heart. 2014 May 14. pii: heartjnl-2013-305242. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2013-305242. [Epub ahead of print]
Wilson M, O’Hanlon R, Prasad S, Deighan A, Macmillan P, Oxborough D, Godfrey R, Smith G, Maceira A, Sharma S, George K, Whyte G.  Diverse patterns of myocardial fibrosis in lifelong, veteran endurance athletes. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011 Jun;110(6):1622-6. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01280.2010. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Reduce your blood glucose with short breaks of physical activity.

Posted by on 12:41 pm Diabetes, Exercise, Exercise, Glucose, Intensity Training | 0 comments

people walking grayElevated blood glucose causes damage to tissue and can increase low grade inflammation which increases the risk for chronic diseases.
We have known for a long time that exercise helps to transfer the blood glucose into the cells, that way lowering the blood glucose.

As it turns out it does not take a lot of activity to do that. The reviewed research is interesting because it compared two approaches of activity during 9 hours of sitting(Peddie MC, et al. 2013).
The participants were 70 adults who were each given 3 meal replacement drinks during the 9 hours. On one occasion they walked for 30 minutes and were then sitting for 9 hours and on another occasion they were breaking up the sitting with walking for 1 minute and 40 seconds every 30 minutes.
The results showed that both blood glucose levels and insulin levels were reduced more when they walked for 1 minute and 40 seconds every 30 minutes as compared to continuous walking for 30 minutes.
In my experience, you don’t even have to spend that much time being active if you practice a certain type of activity.
I will be writing more about that in a future article.

 

 

 

 

Peddie MC1, Bone JL, Rehrer NJ, Skeaff CM, Gray AR, Perry TL.   Breaking prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glycemia in healthy, normal-weight adults: a randomized crossover trial.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):358-66. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051763. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

 

Interesting reason why you may gain fat around your waist.

Posted by on 1:35 pm Body fat, Eating, Exercise, Fat, General Health, Inflammation, Intensity Training, Waist circumference, Weight, Weight loss | 0 comments

Woman's fingers measuring her belly fatWhen you notice that you have gained fat around your waist, it usually also means that you have gained visceral fat.

Visceral fat is fat deposited around your inner organs, and is contributing to metabolic dysfunction and inflammation.

The reviewed research is very interesting because it investigated if there was a connection between an increase in waist circumference, visceral fat, and increased intestinal permeability (Gummesson A, et al. 2011). Intestinal permeability is a way to tell if we are absorbing particles into the blood that were not meant to be absorbed. The mucosal membranes of the intestinal tract are supposed to protect us from absorbing pathogens like bacteria’s and also large protein particles that were not meant to be absorbed. Our body will attempt to defend itself by triggering inflammation when we absorb particles that we are not meant to absorb.

 In this study, waist circumference and intestinal permeability were measured, and computed tomography and dual energy X-Ray were also used. A positive correlation was found between waist circumference and intestinal permeability. Visceral fat and liver fat also correlated with increased intestinal permeability.

It is important to have normal intestinal permeability and a well functioning gastrointestinal tract for many reasons, and it may also help you in keeping your waist slim.

Click here to learn how to eat to support a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Gummesson A1, Carlsson LM, Storlien LH, Bäckhed F, Lundin P, Löfgren L, Stenlöf K, Lam YY, Fagerberg B, Carlsson B. Intestinal permeability is associated with visceral adiposity in healthy women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Nov;19(11):2280-2. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.251. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

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A benefit of exercise you may not be aware of.

Posted by on 5:10 pm Anti-aging, Energy, Exercise, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape, Inflammation, Inflammation, C-reactive protein, Inflammatory factor, Intensity Training, Muscles, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

Jogging together - sport young coupleAs we get older inflammation usually increases. You don’t necessarily have to get increased inflammation as you age, but that’s what’s been observed in a lot of people. You probably know that inflammation is a risk factor for most chronic diseases, it can also make you more uncomfortable because it can contribute to pain.

It would be great if you had a way to reduce inflammation without taking any medication. In fact there are ways you can do that, and instead of side effects you even get a lot of additional benefits.

Exercise is one of the things that can reduce inflammation. That is exactly what the reviewed study investigated, by looking at data from a lot of research on this specific topic(Woods JA, et al. 2012). Data on the participants activity level, as well as measurements of several inflammatory markers, were used.

As you may have guessed, exercise was found to reduce some of these inflammatory markers, especially highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).

One of the studies they looked at also investigated the effects of antioxidants on inflammation. They found that the participants who took antioxidants had reduced inflammation, even if they did not exercise(Colbert LH, et al. 2004).

The logical thing would be to both exercise and take antioxidants.

The most effective antioxidant the body makes is glutathione, but the problem is that it  produces less of it as we get older, when we actually need more.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

 

 

 

Colbert LH1, Visser M, Simonsick EM, Tracy RP, Newman AB, Kritchevsky SB, Pahor M, Taaffe DR, Brach J, Rubin S, Harris TB. Physical activity, exercise, and inflammatory markers in older adults: findings from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Jul;52(7):1098-104.
Woods JA1, Wilund KR, Martin SA, Kistler BM. Exercise, inflammation and aging. Aging Dis. 2012 Feb;3(1):130-40. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

 

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