Almost 50,000 years even before agriculture was invented, humans had already engaging in different low intensity activities as they build shelter, gather food and track animals among others. Perhaps, this is the reason how humans are able to develop its need to move with low exertion levels for many hours daily.
Sporadically, our ancestors engage in high power activities like fighting and chasing an animal. This is the same with what distance and/or sprinting that we do today. There are thus evident movement patterns that we are able to inherit from our ancestors. This includes our current dietary needs wherein some of our ancestors opt to eat animals and plants while some opt for dairy and grains.
Now, we might be doing the same levels of intensity, but the physical activities that we engage to today are more systematic like aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Anaerobic exercises are those physical activities that are executed in less than 2 minutes while aerobic exercises are those that are performed beyond this. Aerobic cardio exercises, further, are performed longer and with 75% of the max heart rate.
What you must know, however, is that there are real dangers when executing aerobic cardio workouts like running on your treadmill for 60 minutes or exercise biking for 90 minutes. This only leads to the development of stress responses within your body. Apart from resulting to chronic body damages, this may also lead to less optimal overall fitness.
While you may love your cardio exercises, it is high time to think more of your body. You love these exercise, but your body does not contrary what you might actually think especially if you are using the same exercise equipment over and over.
Longer aerobic exercises may lead to the increasing of cortisol (stress hormone) levels, oxidative cell damage and systematic inflammation as well as to the depression of the immune system. This also leads to muscle breakdown. Finally, these exercises result in decreasing fat metabolism, a counter effect when trying to lose weight. On the contrary, anaerobic exercises are a more effective way of achieving optimum fat loss. These are called interval trainings that are short-term but high intensity.
Short high intensity interval training or anaerobic exercises in short can burn fat, build muscle, build endurance without muscle wasting, and help improve performance like strong finishing during an endurance event.
If you want this training, first, you need to choose exercises that are strenuous enough. These are the exercises that make you out of breath like biking, running and swimming and squats, pushups and using treadmill and elliptical machines. These exercises are executed between 1 and 4 minutes and from 75 up to 85% max heart rate. Second, there should be recovery periods, but these must be shorter yet enough for the pulse to go back to the resting rate. Third, before any exercise, you must warm up to prepare your body. Fourth, you need to choose time intervals and total rounds that you want to perform during training. For instance, you may choose 20 seconds of exercises and 10 seconds for resting for a total of 8 rounds. Fifth, you must consider beginning the training exerting much effort and progress with each round.
Experts recommend doing anaerobic exercises once weekly at the very least, that is, aside from your regular routine. Definitely, your weekly training should include metabolic conditioning exercises from simpler to more complex as the week progresses.
If you are wondering if these short yet high intensity exercises are for you, the answer is yes. Any individual can do this though he or she must start slowly especially if it is the first time doing them. Before any training, warming up is required, so that you can make sure the preparedness of your body to these intense exercises.
Interval training requires hard work. The good thing about this training is they are short which means you won’t get bored. Nonetheless, this is not the only exercise that you should consider though this forms a foundation of most fitness routines. Interval training is perfect if you want to lose weight and also gain muscle and of course, if you want to become healthier.