Posts Tagged ‘physical activity’

Lose Weight Quickly With High-Intensity Interval Training

November 7th, 2010

Copyright 2010

High Intensity Interval Training can be an attractive exercise option.Ideally, any plan to lose weight quickly should include both diet and exercise. Most experts in the nutritional health field agree that it’s simply impossible to lose weight permanently and successfully without the proper diet, citing studies such as those conducted by the Loyola University Health System, which showed that thinner women did not necessarily engage in higher levels of activity.

However, while a proper diet may be the primary driving force behind weight loss, exercise should not be neglected, as it provides health benefits in addition to calorie-burning properties that make it so popular with dieters who want to lose weight quickly.

When people think of “exercising” they typically think of cardio, or exercise specifically intended to increase the heart rate and keep the cardiovascular system healthy. The rigorous physical activity involved in a cardio workout causes the body to use up quite a bit of energy, thus promoting a caloric deficit that leads to weight loss.

The cardio workout of a typical dieter can last 30 minutes or even an hour. These long workouts can easily be incompatible with the fast pace of modern living, so dieters sometimes find themselves unable to spend as much time on cardio as they’d like.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to these long workouts: high-intensity interval training is a type of cardio that focuses on short bursts of physical effort rather than the drawn-out pace of typical cardio exercise.

A high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise is composed of several different stages. A warm-up exercise at a moderate rate of exertion starts out the workout, but it soon diverts from a typical cardio workout by introducing “sprint” sections of extreme exertion.

For example, in an HIIT running workout, the runner would start at a moderate warm-up pace for a few minutes before launching into a full-on sprint, often at the limit of his or her abilities. The sprint, or interval, is maintained for a set period of time, typically 15 or 30 seconds. The runner then returns to his or her previous moderate running speed to “cool down.” After a set amount of time, the runner sprints again, and so on. This cycle is usually repeated 6-8 times followed by a “cool down” period of moderately intense activity for a few minutes. Beginners will likely find themselves unable to complete more than two or three intervals as the exercise can be quite demanding.

Your overall weight loss program may benefit from High Intensity Interval Training.There are several documented benefits to HIIT that make it preferable to regular cardio, including providing an extra edge to those looking to lose weight quickly. A 2001 graduate study at East Tennessee State University found that HIIT increases resting metabolic rate for 24 hours after the workout is completed. This means that although the body is no longer engaged in heavy physical activity, it continues to burn energy at a higher rate than normal. This increase in metabolic rate does not occur with traditional cardio, or at least not as drastically. The extreme physical exertion that HIIT requires also means that exercises can be completed in a far shorter amount of time with similar results, and HIIT appears to preserve muscle mass more than traditional cardio exercise.

Anyone who is looking to lose weight quickly should carefully consider his or her options in both diet and exercise. Diet is the most important factor in weight loss, but exercise should not be discounted, and for those looking to give themselves an extra edge in their journey towards weight loss, HIIT is a good option that will speed up weight loss without monopolizing too much of the dieter’s time.