If you are not sprinting your way to improved health and weight loss, you may want to modify your workouts to save time and make them more effective.
Exercising right – so that you meet your goals – involves pushing yourself to your personal limit, in as little time as possible. Gone are the days of low-intensity exercise, such as walking and leisurely jogging, if you are trying to improve your health and lose weight. Sure, if you are new to exercise you have to start slow or you will increase your risk for injury. But, if you are “broken in” you have to step up your pace. Many studies are now showing the importance of high-intensity training, or HIT, in effectively improving your health and losing weight. You can no longer give yourself credit for the amount of “time” that you spend working out. Instead, you should judge your workouts on the level of intensity of each step, or rep that you perform.
The effectiveness of HIT training does not only apply to fit individuals or athletes. In a 2010 article in the journal Metabolism:
Two weeks of SIT (sprint training) substantially improved a number of metabolic and vascular risk factors in overweight/obese sedentary men, highlighting the potential for this to provide an alternative exercise model for the improvement of vascular and metabolic health in this population.
Not only was sprinting effective in reducing weight and improving cardiovascular and metabolic health, but sprinting was also more time efficient. Instead of spending hours a week exercising, these men achieved these goals in only 6, 20-30 minute sessions over a two week period. This means that you only need to dedicate a 20-30 minute block every other day or so towards exercising.
And it makes sense. If you want your body to change, you have to give it an obvious stimulus, or reason to do so. Leisurely walking or jogging, although still somewhat beneficial, doesn’t send clear signals to the body that it needs to make adaptations to help you exercise more efficiently. However, stepping up your intensity for a few bouts each week sets alarms of in your body’s systems to adapt and improve as it prepares for the next 20-30 intense exercise stimulus.
Not sure this is for you? Sure it is!
It doesn’t matter your age, sex or impairment. All that matters is that you can do the most that you can possibly do. If you can’t run, jog as hard as you can. If you can’t jog, walk as fast as you can. If you have walking limitations, swim or bike as fast as possible.
The point is to “give it your all” for 20-30 minutes, 3 times per week. Take on this method and you will be surprised of your physical improvement and overall time saved.