|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Cardio Enthusiasts: Discover a More Effective Training Method for Fat Loss and Heart Health!
It is common to hear fitness professionals and medical doctors prescribe low to moderate intensity aerobic training (cardio) to people who are trying to prevent heart disease or lose weight. Most often, the recommendations constitute something along the lines of "perform 30-60 minutes of steady pace cardio 3-5 times per week maintaining your heart rate at a moderate level". Before you just give in to this popular belief and become the "hamster on the wheel" doing endless hours of boring cardio, I'd like you to consider some recent scientific research that indicates that steady pace endurance cardio work may not be all it's cracked up to be.
First, realize that our bodies are designed to perform physical activity in bursts of exertion followed by recovery, or stop-and-go movement instead of steady state movement. Recent research is suggesting that physical variability is one of the most important aspects to consider in your training. This tendency can be seen throughout nature as all animals demonstrate stop-and-go motion instead of steady state motion. In fact, humans are the only creatures in nature that attempt to do "endurance" type physical activities. Most competitive sports (with the exception of endurance running or cycling) are also based on stop-and-go movement or short bursts of exertion followed by recovery. To examine an example of the different effects of endurance or steady state training versus stop-and-go training, consider the physiques of marathoners versus sprinters. Most sprinters carry a physique that is very lean, muscular, and powerful looking, while the typical dedicated marathoner is more often emaciated and sickly looking. Now which would you rather resemble?
Another factor to keep in mind regarding the benefits of physical variability is the internal effect of various forms of exercise on our body. Scientists have known that excessive steady state endurance exercise (different for everyone, but sometimes defined as greater than 60 minutes per session most days of the week) increases free radical production in the body, can degenerate joints, reduces immune function, causes muscle wasting, and can cause a pro-inflammatory response in the body that can potentially lead to chronic diseases. On the other hand, highly variable cyclic training has been linked to increased anti-oxidant production in the body and an anti-inflammatory response, a more efficient nitric oxide response (which can encourage a healthy cardiovascular system), and an increased metabolic rate response (which can assist with weight loss). Furthermore, steady state endurance training only trains the heart at one specific heart rate range and doesn't train it to respond to various every day stressors. On the other hand, highly variable cyclic training teaches the heart to respond to and recover from a variety of demands making it less likely to fail when you need it. Think about it this way -- Exercise that trains your heart to rapidly increase and rapidly decrease will make your heart more capable of handling everyday stress. Stress can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to increase rapidly. Steady state jogging and other endurance training does not train your heart to be able to handle rapid changes in heart rate or blood pressure.
The important aspect of variable cyclic training that makes it superior over steady state cardio is the recovery period in between bursts of exertion. That recovery period is crucially important for the body to elicit a healthy response to an exercise stimulus. Another benefit of variable cyclic training is that it is much more interesting and has lower drop-out rates than long boring steady state cardio programs.
To summarize, some of the potential benefits of variable cyclic training compared to steady state endurance training are as follows: improved cardiovascular health, increased anti-oxidant protection, improved immune function, reduced risk for joint wear and tear, reduced muscle wasting, increased residual metabolic rate following exercise, and an increased capacity for the heart to handle life's every day stressors. There are many ways you can reap the benefits of stop-and-go or variable intensity physical training. One of the absolute most effective forms of variable intensity training to really reduce body fat and bring out serious muscular definition is performing wind sprints. Most competitive sports such as football, basketball, racquetball, tennis, hockey, etc. are naturally comprised of highly variable stop-and-go motion. In addition, weight training naturally incorporates short bursts of exertion followed by recovery periods. High intensity interval training (varying between high and low intensity intervals on any piece of cardio equipment) is yet another training method that utilizes exertion and recovery periods. For example, an interval training session on the treadmill could look something like this:
Warm-up for 3-4 minutes at a fast walk or light jog;
The take-away message from this article is to try to train your body at highly variable intensity rates for the majority of your workouts to get the most beneficial response in terms of heart health, fat loss, and muscle maintenance.
Copyright ©2005 - truthaboutabs.com
Michael Geary, NCSF CPT, AFAA CPT;
Visit http://truthaboutabs.com -- free bonuses and free articles are available!
Too Much Water Can Kill
Long distance runners and other endurance athletes have long been educated to believe that drinking lots of fluids during a long distance or endurance event was critical. And if you didn't drink enough water, you ran the risk of dehydration.
Spinning Classes - Indoor Stationery Bicycle
Over the years I have changed my exercise routine continuously. That wasn't exactly planned, but it probably kept my interest up.
Cardio Enthusiasts: Discover a More Effective Training Method for Fat Loss and Heart Health!
It is common to hear fitness professionals and medical doctors prescribe low to moderate intensity aerobic training (cardio) to people who are trying to prevent heart disease or lose weight. Most often, the recommendations constitute something along the lines of "perform 30-60 minutes of steady pace cardio 3-5 times per week maintaining your heart rate at a moderate level".
Run for Your Life
Running is an ideal symmetrical activity for keeping fit. However, it is common for people to blame running for injuries rather than accept that it may be how they run that is at fault.
Stay in Shape - Cycling Workouts For the Winter Months
It's that time of year. The time when you decide it's fine to ride in 12 degree weather.
Playing Your Cardio Right
To many, that half-hour a day is the most enjoyable, most therapeutic part of your agenda. To others, it's as dreadful as taking out the trash and doing the dishes.
Walking for Your Health
Walking is the easiest way of exercise because it is accessible at anyplace, anywhere and anytime. Several studies show that walking can:* reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile* reduce body fat* enhance mental well being* increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis* reduce the risk of cancer of the colon* reduce the risk of non insulin dependant diabetes* help to control body weight* help osteoarthritis* help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of fallsAlthough walking can reduce body fat for weight loss purpose, it is actually not an effective option of exercise, because it doesn't burn lots of calories and only bring small increase in metabolism.
Elliptical workouts basically involve aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Elliptical cross trainers can be intimidating at first glance but once you get familiar with them you will find them easy to use and a fun part of your routine.
Better Cardio Workouts
The Cardio KingChange it upOne of the most important aspects to a cardio workout is changing it. Most people get bored with exercise simply because they pop these DVD's in and do the same thing everyday.
Winter Running: Survival Tips For Your Feet
The days are shorter, the air is colder and the streets are slicker. Yet, many will still brave the cold, damp and dark streets and trails as winter sets in.
Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun
Research shows that in order to lose weight safely and keep it off, you need to exercise. And even those who are not overweight benefit from an exercise or workout routine.
Burn 340 Calories a Day with Aerobic Exercise
Strengthen your heart and lungs and give your body a wonderful shape with Aerobics.Aerobic Exercise - Improve your fitness the right way.
Running in The Zone: A Personal Account
Running in The Zone has to be one of the most satisfying experiences. When it all fits together it can seem effortless and intensely rewarding.
Spinning exercise or studio cycling is not only popular these days it's an excellent form of fitness. It helps strengthen your heart, tone your glutes, calves, thighs in addition to being a great exercise to slim legs.
Lose Weight And Skyrocket Your Metabolism With Regular Cardiovascular Exercise
Do you try to eat well, even diet, but aren't seeing the results you were hoping for? Are you just trying to gain more energy? Do you ever feel like you're not breathing enough?If you answered yes to any of the questions above you should consider the proven, time-tested weight loss tool called cardiovascular exercise.I know that it's terribly hard to start walking or jogging when you have so much stress to deal with in your life.
The Fitness Cardio Secret That Propels Lance Armstrong
What is Lance Armstrong doing that you can do to improve your results?Most people exercise to lose weight, focusing solely on that one single goal. Butwait, it is not only about looking aesthetically pleasing, getting in those tight jeans,or losing ten pounds.
Are You Making This Cardio Mistake?
Are you exercising for long periods of time to try to burn fat? If you're like most people you probably are, but there is a better way. It's called "high intensity interval training" (HIIT) and lately it has started to become pretty famous for its obvious health benefits.
Using Nutrition to Boost Your Cardio
So, you're doing cardio religiously and you're not getting any results?What's the deal?! Good news. You're probably just making some minor mistakes that need to be corrected.
An Alternate Fitness Tool
Any competitive or recreational athlete will use a variety of cross-training methods or tools to complement their particular sport or to meet their fitness needs. One such tool that is becoming increasing popular is the Kickbike.
Why Your Cardiovascular Workouts Might Be A Big Waste Of Your Time
What if I were to tell you that most if not all of the cardiovascular exercise you do was worthless? Well, guess what? over 50% of the people who perform cardio in an attempt to burn fat are wasting their time? hours and hours of it! Are you one of them?Before you call me crazy, let me explain. I'm not saying that cardiovascular exercise can't or doesn't burn fat; it's just that most people are not performing the right type of cardio workouts.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.