Fitness experts used to recommend 45 – 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise as the best way to lose weight, condition your heart and stay in shape. Following this, many people logged hour after hour on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike and some never got the results they were looking for. But newer research suggests this approach is not nearly as effective as peppering your workout with short bursts of high intensity aerobic exercise. This approach aims to push your heart rate up to 85 percent of your maximum for short spurts followed by longer periods of moderate exertion and rest.
The benefits of this approach are substantial.
It increases your metabolism. A study published in “Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism” showed that high-intensity training increases your body’s ability to metabolize fat and carbohydrates. And, this boost to your metabolism continues up to two hours after your workout is over. A study in the journal “Metabolism” compared a 20-week moderate intensity program to a 15-week burst-training program. The burst group lost nine times the amount of fat than the moderate intensity exercise group.
It improves your fitness and energy level. Compared to steady, moderate-intensity workouts, working out with short aerobic bursts substantially improves your body’s aerobic and anaerobic capacity. According to a study in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” working out at a steady pace only improves your aerobic ability, while short-burst training increases your body’s anaerobic system as well. The result is more sustained energy in and outside of the gym.
It gets rid of belly fat. We all know there is no way to spot train and get rid of abdominal fat exclusively. But, short burst training exercises have been shown to reduce subcutaneous and abdominal belly fat more effectively than other types of exercise, according to the “Journal of Obesity” in 2011.