A six-year studyreleased by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that, over time,running may provide men and overweight women with greater weight loss resultsthan a walking regimen. The resultscomplement other studies suggesting that intense vigorous activity can aid inweight reduction, even if only incorporated once or twice a week into a fitnessroutine.
Research presented atthe Integrative Biology of Exercise meeting showed high-intensity intervaltraining uses more calories for energy than slower, longer work-outs. The study showed as little as 2.5 minutes,divided into five 30-second sessions followed by 4 minutes of light exertion,burned as many as 220 calories over the course of the workout.
“You burn a lot ofcalories in a very short time… Nearly all the calories are burned in those 2.5minutes; you burn very few during the rest period,” says researcher KyleSevits.
With this information,how can advanced athletes and beginners adapt a program that includes bothhigh-intensity interval training, and short periods of rest, into their workoutroutine?
One suggestion isthose who wish to start running do so in regular walk/run intervals, graduallyincreasing the length of their running time until they reach a desiredgoal. Exercise programs such as H.E.A.T.classes (High Energy Athletic Training) or H.I.I.T. (High Intensity IntervalTraining) also offer support for beginners. These classes are typically led by fitness trainers who can offersuggestions and adaptations for those just beginning, or those desiring a moreintense version of the class. Spinningclasses will often incorporate high intensity peaks into the workout intermixedwith periods of rest. Dance classes arealso a good choice, as the intensity of movement varies over the period of theclass and can keep those who are easily bored engaged and interested in theworkout.
When starting off anynew fitness program, it’s wise to gauge progress by how the body feels. If too fatigued, take a rest of two days inbetween or decrease the length of the high-intensity peaks. If feeling well, this level of exercise canbe repeated every other day, or even daily depending on a person’s fitnessgoals.
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