Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Interval Cardio Exercise Great for Weight Loss

Everyone has wondered at some point in time which form of cardio exercise is best for losing weight.  To put it in simple terms, both low and high intensity exercises will help you to burn off body fat.  The question here is which is the most effective and the healthiest overall for your body. 

Scientists first discovered that during intensive exercises, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles for energy.  Whereas, during low intensity exercises, your body will burn a lot of fat.

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises
Aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But if you're thinking based on this that low intensity, long-duration exercise is the way to go, you would be wrong. Just look around at the huge numbers of obese people in our country, and you'll see that this type of exercise isn't really working the way we think it should. And those who try it often get so bored so quickly, that they stop once they reach a plateau in their weight loss and end up right back where they started.

Here's the thing. The scientists were right when they said the human body burns more body fat during low intensity exercises like walking or swimming.  But during a high intensity exercise such as running, the body will burn a lot more calories.  Even if some of the calories burnt are from glycogen, there are still many fat calories burned as well.

To put the icing on the cake, when your store of glycogen gets low, the carbohydrates from your food you eat will later get converted into glycogen to fill up the store and won't be converted to body fat when they are left unused for energy.

Put simply, high intensity cardio exercise will juice up your metabolism even after you have completed your workout.  What this means, is that your body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have left the gym.  This effect is nearly non-existent in low intensity cardio or aerobic workouts. 

Accumulatively, your body will burn up more and more calories during and after you have finished a high intensity cardio exercise that it will with low intensity.

Now obviously, doing an hour-long high intensity workout is just not feasible - your body couldn't take it, and it's not designed for that sort of thing anyway. The answer is to intersperse your lower intensity exercise with bursts of high intensity activity. This way you get the best of both worlds! And best of all, this sort of thing basically "supercharges" your weight loss. You can actually lose more weight in a 20-minute workout of this type, than you would in an hour of walking, biking, or even slow jogging.

 (Photo credit: The Survival Woman)
You can inject high intensity exercises into your cardio workout by introducing some interval training. You can walk for 5 minutes or so, then break into some slow jogging for another 3-5 minutes or so.  Then, once warmed up, walk briskly again until you have caught your breath and then sprint for a minute before you walk again.  From this point, simply alternate your running and walking for about 15 minutes until you are finished.

One of the best things about this type of cardio is the more you do it, the more energy you'll have.  Cardio will help you to burn calories, and it's also useful for keeping your energy levels high. Dr. Al Sears explains this phenomenon well in his book, Pace: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution.

If you've never tried this type of cardio before, you should give it a shot.  You'll find it the best way to boost your energy and get in great shape.  If you are just starting out, you'll want to go slow and gradually increase your bursts of intensity as your body gets used to it, so you can avoid injuries which may throw your fitness goals off track.

Lose Weight Fast with Interval Cardio:

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment