Where Else Do You Get a Six for One Return on Investment?
If you spend 10 minutes exercising briskly, you’ll trigger metabolic changes that last for at least an hour. That’s one of the reasons why I encourage you to do fast exercise instead of trying to burn calories by grinding out repetitive exercises over long periods.
Repetitive exercise can be hard on your joints and tissues, and isn’t really helpful in terms of burning enough calories for significant weight loss. If you want to lose weight, the most important factor is your diet. Think of exercise primarily in terms of preventing weight regain. It does also contribute to body-shaping and fat burning, but the major role of exercise in weight loss is to help you avoid rebound weight gain because of the hormonal and blood sugar changes it will trigger.
Exercise Helps Prevent Rebound Weight Gain
Paying strict attention to your nutritional needs and eating clean will take the pounds off eventually (although we can help you do that faster at dietMD Hawaii!). Short periods of brisk exercise will retrain your metabolism so that they stay off.
Exercise helps control your blood sugar, and helps keep your insulin levels normal. In some cases, it can take the place of prescription medications for depression, diabetes, and heart disease. It can turn around prediabetes. Clinical studies have proven that adding exercise can give your body a noticeable advantage in blood sugar control.
There Isn’t One Perfect Solution
The best form of exercise, of course, is the one you enjoy most. Whether that’s CrossFit, cardio, tai chi, walking, yoga, downhill skiing, rollerblading, or skipping rope — among dozens choices, the (best) form of exercise is the one that you’ll actually do. Another reason I like fast exercise is that it’s easy to fit into busy lifestyles.
Except When There Is
With that said and all things being equal, your best exercise choice would probably be HIIT, with a rotation in exercises. High Intensity Interval Training is a fast exercise system where you push very hard for a very brief period of time, alternating with rest periods. The whole process typically takes 10 to 20 minutes. There are variations of this you’ll hear referred to as sprint cardio, Peak Fitness or Peak 8.
You don’t require any particular equipment for HIIT training, although there are some routines that can be done with equipment such as a treadmill or recumbent bike. You could even start by alternating fast walking with slow walking.
The key is to push your heart rate high enough that you couldn’t easily carry on conversation for about 30 seconds, and then alternate with a rest period for about 60 seconds. The idea is to get your heart rate up to your calculated maximum heart rate, which is typically calculated by subtracting your age from 220. Tell yourself: “I can do this for thirty seconds!”
Obviously, this is intense training, and you should check with your doctor before beginning a HIIT program, particularly if there is a history of heart disease and your family.
Not Enough Time For Exercise?
HIIT is perfect when you’re short on time to exercise. As little as ten minutes, three times weekly, can make a difference. These are hard workouts, but they’re also effective and fast exercise.
“In evolutionary terms, high-intensity interval training is like being on the hunt and intermittently sprinting for your life for a short span of time.”
– Dr. Doug McGuff
How Do I Know I’m Exercising Correctly?
During the peak 30 seconds of your exercise, your body will be struggling to get enough oxygen, so you will be breathing hard. You may start to sweat, and your body temperature will rise. You may experience a feeling of muscle “burn”. If you’re gasping for breath after your 30 second hard push, you’re doing it right. You should feel like it wouldn’t be possible to keep this up longer.
Then you will have a rest, for 60 to 90 seconds, where you are still moving but doing it very gently, without strain. Then another push for 30 seconds. Keep this up for 5 to 8 repetitions and you’re done.
When you first start out remember not to push yourself quite to the point of collapse. You may have to do fewer reps at first, but you still get the benefits of the exercise.
It’s VERY important not to consume sugar or fructose within two hours after the exercise as that will stop the production of HGH, which is the biggest benefit of this type of exercise. Keep reading to learn about that.
Instead, drink plenty of water and eat healthy carbs such as vegetables, plus high-quality protein. Do not eat grain-based carbs — you’re essentially eating sugar. Sports drinks containing high fructose corn syrup will obliterate the gains you just worked for. Avoid them.
You’ll Almost Certainly Live Longer
This type of exercise triggers the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). With higher levels of HGH, you’ll be stronger, healthier, you’ll have better muscle tone, more energy, and you’ll burn body fat more easily. You’ll often see improvements in your skin, fewer wrinkles, and you may experience increased sexual desire. Your performance in fitness and athletic sports will improve.
Typically, your body’s levels of HGH drop in your 30s. This is known as somatopause, and it’s part of what drives the aging process. Choosing to do HIIT exercise three times a week for 10 to 20 minutes gives you back significant levels of HGH – you’ll feel the difference, and other people will notice it too, even if your “fast exercise” program is taking as little as thirty minutes weekly.