We all know we should be exercising consistently, but often times it stops at…’we know we should.’  Exercise is absolutely essential for so many functions: digestion, joint health, mental health (yes makes you think clearer and be happier) and efficient use of calories taken in.  And the euphoric feeling after completing a workout is one you won’t want to miss out on!  But what type of exercise is best?

New research in exercise is showing more benefit from a shorter (20 minute) but very intense workout compared to a very long (1 hour) exercise of moderate intensity.  According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

Another study compared a group that completed longer one hour endurance workouts 5 days per week and a second group that completed very short (14 minute TABATA workout), but very intense workouts 4 days per week.  After 6 weeks, the first group increased their aerobic (cardiovascular) strength, but showed little or no results on their anaerobic (muscle) system.  The second group in this study showed much more increase in their aerobic system AND an increase in their anaerobic system.  That means more of the ‘red stuff’ and less of the ‘yellow stuff.’ This is good news (and one less excuse) for all of you that claim you don’t have enough time to workout!  If you choose this route however, you must be motivated to push yourself hard.  After all, any workout is only as good as the effort you put in!

For more information and examples of high intensity interval training, visit: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/cardio/8-amazing-fat-burning-intervals?page=2

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