How to Get the Most Out of Exercise (part 2)

In part one of this series I mentioned that each of us may have a unique goal and objective for exercising. We discussed how important it is to set the right expectations for success and how to create a working plan. What I’ve found over the years is that while our goals may be different there is a nearly universal goal to not spend too much time exercising. We are all busy and engaged in so many different activities that even finding time to work out is a major challenge. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could compress the time spent working out so that you were able to get maximum benefit in minimal time? Of course it would.

If you really want to get the metabolic engines burning you need to create a hormonal shift. Weight loss and lean body mass is so much more than calorie counting. It is really about getting your key hormones, the chemicals that control growth and repair, to balance.

For years you’ve been told that in order to burn fat, you had to do long cardio workouts in your “target fat burning zone”. Not true. That approach is outdated and ineffective for most people. The latest research is telling us that short, intense bursts of exercise are much more effective in creating improvements in your metabolism. In effect, doing short burst of intense exercise creates an “after burn” that lasts between 38 to 48 hours even after just one 12-20 minute session. What is more, this exercise has been proven to increase fat loss around that stubborn mid section.

Burst or Sprint Interval Training (S.I.T.) is simple. Basically you take a few minutes to warm up by walking or doing some jumping jacks then pick your favorite exercise (cardio machine, running outside or on a treadmill, stationary bike, or even body weight exercises like squats or “burpees”) Go at the exercise at peak intensity for 30 seconds and then walk or take a rest for 60-90 seconds in between. Repeat 4 to 8 times, monitoring how your body is responding to the exercise. Then do a 5-minute cool down. Simple. In fact, so simple most people won’t believe that it is enough to do any good but trust me, the science is pretty compelling and the patient results are impressive.

Add a great anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic diet and adequate rest and you will be getting those weight control hormones kicked into gear.