How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck When You Work Out
Like most of us, I’m a very busy person. I’ve got two small children, I run a business and work full-time. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. However, I still make exercise a priority. Along with improving my health, exercise improves my energy levels, my outlook on life and my ability to focus. Spending time everyday to get moving is one of the best ways you can improve your quality of life now and in the future.
Exercise is easily one of the most valuable forms of health insurance. It gets the blood flowing throughout our bodies, it relaxes and boosts the capacities of our minds, and it improves overall fitness performance, allowing the cells in our bodies to work more efficiently. Below I discuss what happens to your body if you stop exercising after just a couple weeks, how you can improve your performance at any age, and what you can do to maximize your workout if you are a busy person like me.
What Happens When You Stop Working Out
To see just how effective exercise is for the body, let’s look first at what happens when you stop exercising for just under two weeks. One study showed that when runners stopped their daily routines for 10 days, their brain had less blood flow to their brain’s hippocampus, a region associated with emotions and memory. Additionally, VO2 max (maximum oxygen intake) lowers, causing you to feel more winded after climbing the same number of stairs before stopping exercise. Finally, blood pressure and glucose levels rise, and strength begins to decrease. While I don’t recommend over-exerting yourself either, simply learn what exercises challenge you sufficiently and stick with a routine that you enjoy.
How Exercise Can Improve Your Performance (At Any Age)
If you think it’s too late to teach an old dog new tricks, you may be surprised to hear evidence to the contrary. A recent study showed a 105 year old cyclist set a new global benchmark in his age category last year for mileage per hour at 14 miles, replacing his previous record in 2012. Surprisingly, he did not get into regular exercise until he retired. He went from doing almost no exercise to cycling almost every day at a leisurely pace. Researchers were interested in seeing if he could improve his performance so they worked with him for two years and he changed his routine so that 80% of his workouts were leisurely while 20% were intense. After two years his VO2 max was tested again, and it actually increased 13%! While he might also have some genetic predispositions to living a very long life, this recorded improvement goes to show the body’s remarkable capacity for change.
Intensity > Time: How to Maximize Your Workout
High intensity Interval Training, often abbreviated as HIIT has gotten some press in recent years, and for good reason. Interval training allows you to get the same amount of benefit of a workout in less time than traditional aerobic exercise, making it much more efficient. It involves a short burst of high intensity, followed by a brief period of low intensity. Dr. Gibala, a professor of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario helped to popularize this type of exercise. He found in his research that volunteers found significant improvements in their cardiovascular health, including lowered blood pressure. 3 rounds with 20 seconds of intense training followed by 2 minutes of less intense training three times a week is all you need to see a positive benefit if you are sedentary or lightly active.
The negative effects of inactivity are not worth it, so get moving now! Your body stands to benefit in multiple ways, and you are never too young to start a routine. Even if you are a busy person, you can make a little time if you choose to optimize your routine by implementing interval training a few days a week. Get active now, and see the results! And if you find that pain is impeding your process, give us a call at (510) 922-1579 or go online to www.core-wellnesschiro.com to schedule your appointment.
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