Healthy Byte: Workouts to Try for Weight Loss

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Experts Say These Are the Only Workouts You Should Try for Weight Loss in 2022

by Tiffany AyudaDecember 30, 2021·13 min read


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When you’re working hard to get fit and lose weight, you want a routine that provides maximum results. And you don’t even need to become a gym rat; studies show that shorter bouts of exercise are more effective for fat loss. But what kind of exercise burns the most calories?

Cardio, of course, will crush cals. Running on a treadmill will burn 25-39% more calories than doing kettlebell swings at the same level of exertion, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. But your best bet for weight loss is a routine that combines cardio and strength.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-10-1/html/r-sf-flx.html

If you’re walking or running like mad without results, building muscle may be key to moving the scale. Why? Because muscles are metabolically active, so they burn calories even when you’re not exercising. To fit cardio and strength into your workout, consider interval training, which experts say is one of the best ways to burn fat.

The benefits of interval training

Working out in intervals is one way to reap the benefits of cardio and strength, while maximizing your calorie burn in a short amount of time. Interval workouts involve alternating between short bursts of intense effort and periods of lower intensity or rest. The intensity resets your metabolism to a higher rate during your workout, so it takes hours for your body to cool down again. This is what’s known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). That means you burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout compared to doing a workout at a continuous moderate pace (a.k.a. LISS), according to a 2017 study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

“Intervals are a great way to promote weight loss beyond just the EPOC effect. A lot of weight loss comes from the mental side of the spectrum too,” says Chris Ryan, one of MIRROR’s founding trainers. “Intervals offer a great way to harness individual victories after each rep or round of exercise—and not simply looking at the workout as a whole.”

To help you find the a calorie-burning workout that fits your lifestyle and goals, we rounded up the best exercises for weight loss here. If you’re working out in intervals, do the exercise for 30 seconds every minute and rest for the remaining 30 seconds. As you progress, you can increase your time to 45 seconds of activity and 15 seconds of rest. Remember, you want to be working at your maximum—leaving you out of breath by the end of that interval.

So if you want to implement interval training into your fitness routine to rev up your metabolism, here are the best exercises for weight loss.

Running

Photo credit: Christopher Malcolm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Christopher Malcolm – Getty Images

Whether you love or hate it, running is one of the best and simplest ways to burn calories—and you don’t need a treadmill to do it. Just lace up your shoes and hit the road. Running in intervals—speeding up and slowing down your pace—will help make the minutes and miles go by quickly. Run in fartleks, which means speedplay in Swedish, where you pick up the pace every other street lamp or water hydrant you hit, and then slow down after you pass the next one.

“The best way to burn calories while running is to vary your workouts,” says Natalie Dorset, a running coach in New York. “If you’re doing the same workout week after week, your body won’t have anything to adapt to. Vary the speed within a workout, do some bursts of faster running, but also mix up the types of runs you do. Whether it’s slow and steady, comfortable and hard, or intervals, variety is the key to constant adaptation.”

“Sprinting helps engage the core and offers shorter durations of runs at higher intensities,” Ryan adds. He also notes that running slow is relatively easy on your body as far as exertion is perceived, but running fast at 80% of your capability is even harder, pushing your body even more to its limits. This conditions your body to get used to this kind of stress. “There is definitely something to be said about getting comfortable being uncomfortable on your runs, so skip the road and head to a track or soccer field for some sprints next time,” he says.

TRY a Fartlek sprinting routine: Start out with a 5-minute jog. Then alternate between 10-second sprint intervals and 50-second moderately-paced jogs. Use that jog to catch your breath, then hit the next sprint hard. Perform these intervals for 15 minutes, then end with a 5-minute jog. When you start feeling stronger in your runs, try upping the sprint effort to 20 seconds with 40 seconds of jogging.

Jump Rope

Photo credit: Cavan Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Cavan Images – Getty Images

If the last time you held a jump rope was in grade school, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. This calorie-busting workout can burn up to 318 calories (for a 140-pound woman) every 30 minutes—and your heart isn’t the only muscle that’s working hard.

Jumping rope is a full-body workout. It fires up your quads and glutes to help you explode from the ground, and engages your core to keep you upright and stable as you land back down. Jumping rope also involves a little arm and shoulder action, as they remain tight while the rope movement comes from the wrists.

“Jumping rope is a great way to burn calories while improving cardiovascular health, all-over-toning, and coordination, and it will help build power while lowering your risk of injury,” Dorset says.

TRY this Crossrope routine: Start with 60 seconds of freestyle jump roping. You can jump with two feet, one foot, alternate, skip, or twist your hips. You can have some fun with this one. Next, put down your rope and do 30 seconds of mountain climbers. Return for 60 seconds of freestyle jump roping. End with 30 seconds in a plank. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat the cycle. Complete 3 rounds.

Strength Training

Photo credit: Supawat Punnanon / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Supawat Punnanon / EyeEm – Getty Images

Strength training can help you build lean muscle mass and rev up your metabolism, which starts to slow down once you hit your 30s. “The more muscle you have, the less fat you have since your metabolism runs higher,” Ryan says. “A higher metabolism leads to more calories burned and more fat lost.”

Resistance training also helps prevent osteoporosis. According to Wolff’s law, bone grows in response to the forces that are placed upon it. So if you lift heavier, your bones grow stronger as a response. “It also works on force production to maintain shoulder, hip, and spine strength, which enables your whole body to lead to a healthier life long into your later years,” Ryan says. Deadlifts, anyone?

TRY a basic dumbbell circuit: Pick up one dumbbell and complete 10 squats, 10 dumbbell rows per arm, and 10 of any push-up variation of your choice. Move right into the next exercise as you finish the reps. Do 3 rounds. Rest for 1-2 minutes in between each round. To make it more challenging, increase the weight of the dumbbell or use two.

Kickboxing

Photo credit: Tom Werner - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tom Werner – Getty Images

Kickboxing is a great way to burn calories, sculpt muscles, and get in some serious stress relief! By driving power from your legs, your arms are able to throw major jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts, making it a full-body exercise. It will also test your coordination and endurance—all essential things that make you a better athlete in and out of the ring.

“Kickboxing works your core, legs, and specifically your obliques to newfound glory by pumping up your heart and lungs,” Ryan says. “But it also helps you work on balance, coordination, and proprioception. It truly is a mind meets muscle exercise if there ever was one.”

TRY five kicking combos from the DailyBurn: Take these combos and perform 8 reps of each as long as you can for 30 minutes. Rest as needed. Play your favorite fight music and stay strong!

Spinning

Photo credit: seksan Mongkhonkhamsao - Getty Images
Photo credit: seksan Mongkhonkhamsao – Getty Images

Spinning, whether it’s on an actual bike or a stationary one, is one of the best ways to burn calories and build endurance. “Spinning is a great weight-loss activity that is relatively low impact and targets the biggest, strongest muscles in the body,” Ryan says of the glutes and hamstrings. “When you engage your biggest muscles, you set off hormones to produce more muscles, similar to strength training, which helps to burn fat across your whole body,” he adds.

If you don’t like running, spinning is a low-impact alternative that’ll crank up your heart rate.

But there’s more to pushing the pedal than speed. By practicing good form and engaging your core as well as your thighs and glutes, spinning can be a full-body workout. Whether you’re doing a heavy climb in first position or sprinting in second, your core is the key to spinning efficiently and quickly. And as you drive your foot down with each stroke, it’s all about squeezing your inner thighs.

TRY a spinning interval routine: Warm up on the bike for 10 minutes. Go as hard as you can for 30 seconds; pedal easy for 60 seconds. Repeat four times except after the fourth work interval, pedal easy for four minutes. Repeat the whole cycle three more times for a total of 37 minutes of exercise.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Photo credit: FluxFactory - Getty Images
Photo credit: FluxFactory – Getty Images

HIIT workouts are, by far, one of the most effective ways to burn calories and hike up your metabolism. The best part is, these workouts don’t have to last very long. Some HIIT workouts can last for only 10 minutes, but it’s only effective if you push your body to its limits with all-out energy. Research has shown that HIIT can help burn belly fat, a.k.a. the worst kind of fat that puts you at risk for heart disease and other health conditions.

Throughout, form is key. “Even though you are moving through movements at high intensities, you still need to make form paramount to avoid injury,” Ryan says. “Think less about the load/tension or weight intensity and focus more on completing the reps and sets in a sound manner and building load safely.”

TRY a 10-minute, total-body workout to rev up your metabolism.

Rowing

Photo credit: Cavan Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Cavan Images – Getty Images

If you haven’t used your gym’s rowing machine, you’re missing out on one of the best pieces of cardio and strength equipment. Working your quads, glutes, hamstrings, core, arms, and back, you get a total-body workout that’ll have you pouring sweat. Contrary to what most people think, the power of rowing mostly comes from your legs—not your arms. Engaging your quads and glutes, you drive your legs back to pull the handle toward your chest.

“Rowing is a great weight-loss tool because it incorporates the best out of the cardio and strength worlds, with a focus on pulling and opening up the hips and shoulders. At the same time, you’re working your heart and lungs,” Ryan says. Because many people have desk jobs, our backs tend to be rounded. Rowing helps correct this by opening your spine, hips, and shoulders, Ryan says.

TRY a 15-minute rowing routine: Start with a 5-minute warm up, rowing at a slow, consistent pace. Then move up to a moderate pace (about 22 strokes per minute) for 5 minutes. End the workout with a 5-minute cool down.

Elliptical

Photo credit: damircudic - Getty Images
Photo credit: damircudic – Getty Images

Don’t be fooled by the elliptical! It might look an easy machine, casually spinning your legs while watching TV or reading a magazine. But if you crank up the resistance and work at a hard pace, it’ll leave you breathless. “Riding the elliptical at an easy clip will not do much, but magic happens when the lungs start working and the blood starts pumping,” Ryan says. Be sure to stand up straight to lengthen your abs and engage your upper-body muscles. Making use of the handles and swinging your arms will help you blast more fat and calories.

Dorset adds that machines like the elliptical are a good option to keep the weight loss going while protecting your body from extra stress: “The elliptical is great for providing lower impact while maintaining fitness,” Dorset says. “It’s particularly good for helping precent injury at the onset of for coming back to running when recovering from an injury.”

TRY working out like Jennifer Aniston: As reported by Vogue in 2017, the Friends star likes to hit the elliptical for 20 or more minutes. She’ll raise the incline, then alternate between walking for 1 minute and running for 2 minutes.

StairMaster

Photo credit: filadendron - Getty Images
Photo credit: filadendron – Getty Images

No matter how fit you are, climbing up a flight of stairs is always a challenge. That’s because steps are designed to be short so that you have to engage additional muscles, like your glutes, quads, and calves, to bring your entire body up.

“The StairMaster offers a great way to strengthen the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Working the biggest, strongest muscles in the body keep your metabolic rate high, and your body strong and toned,” Ryan says. So, climb a set of stairs or try out a StairMaster machine next time you’re at the gym.

TRY a HIIT StairMaster workout. In this interval circuit, you’ll work your way from a comfortable, moderate pace to an all-out effort.

Battle Ropes

Photo credit: GrapeImages - Getty Images
Photo credit: GrapeImages – Getty Images

Battle ropes are an excellent, no-fuss way to get a full-body strength training and cardio workout. Working at a high intensity, battle ropes will increase your heart rate in seconds.
“There is something extremely fun and satisfying about slamming heavy ropes repeatedly,” Ryan says. “It not only burns the lungs and muscles in the best way possible, but it also offers a sense of accomplishment by taking out anything that has been bothering you throughout the day.”

To use them properly: Hold one end of the rope with each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and keep your chest up as you alternate whipping your arms to send waves down to the rope anchor. Experiment with different tempos and movement, whipping faster with one arm while slamming the rope hard with the other.

TRY this 15-minute routine: Start with making alternating waves with each arm. For the next 5 minutes, try to maintain these waves. Don’t worry about speed or intensity. Just try to endure. Try this for another 2 rounds. Rest 1 minute in between rounds.

Swimming

Photo credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund – Getty Images

Good news if you don’t enjoy the pounding effects of running on your body: Swimming is an excellent workout that combines cardio with strength training in one low-impact workout. Water adds an element of resistance, forcing you to recruit more muscles to move efficiently and use oxygen wisely. Need more motivation to hit the pool? “Simply being in water around 78 degrees for your workout helps to burn even more calories than on land because your body’s natural temperature is 98.6 degrees. It fights to keep itself warm in water by burning calories and fat,” Ryan says.

You’re also using your legs, arms, and core to help you stay afloat, making swimming a great total-body exercise for building strength and endurance.

TRY our swimming workouts for every level.

Yoga

Photo credit: 10'000 Hours - Getty Images
Photo credit: 10’000 Hours – Getty Images

Yoga is an ideal low-impact exercise for weight loss. High cortisol levels can lead to weight gain, and research shows that yoga can help decrease stress. Plus, yoga increases flexibility, strength, and coordination. If you’re on a mission to lose weight, a consistent practice can help you slim down when paired with a clean diet. And if you’re looking for an extra way to burn calories during your yoga practice, take up a power yoga class in a hot studio: Not only will you burn more calories while you sweat, but power moves and faster vinyasas will help you get tone.

Healthy Byte: Fountain of Youth is Not a Fountain

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  • By Robert Nellis

Mayo Clinic discovers high-intensity aerobic training can reverse aging processes in adults

March 10, 2017

Running on a treadmill

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but what type of training helps most, especially when you’re older – say over 65? A Mayo Clinic study says it’s high-intensity aerobic exercise, which can reverse some cellular aspects of aging. The findings appear in Cell Metabolism.

Mayo researchers compared high-intensity interval training, resistance training and combined training. All training types improved lean body mass and insulin sensitivity, but only high-intensity and combined training improved aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function for skeletal muscle. Decline in mitochondrial content and function are common in older adults.

High-intensity intervals also improved muscle protein content that not only enhanced energetic functions, but also caused muscle enlargement, especially in older adults. The researchers emphasized an important finding: Exercise training significantly enhanced the cellular machinery responsible for making new proteins. That contributes to protein synthesis, thus reversing a major adverse effect of aging. However, adding resistance training is important to achieve significant muscle strength.

“We encourage everyone to exercise regularly, but the take-home message for aging adults that supervised high-intensity training is probably best, because, both metabolically and at the molecular level, it confers the most benefits,” says K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior researcher on the study. He says the high-intensity training reversed some manifestations of aging in the body’s protein function. He cautioned that increasing muscle strength requires resistance training a couple of days a week.

The study’s goal was to find evidence that will help develop targeted therapies and exercise recommendations for individuals at various ages. Researchers tracked metabolic and molecular changes in a group of young and older adults over 12 weeks, gathering data 72 hours after individuals in randomized groups completed each type of exercise. General findings showed:

  • Cardio respiratory health, muscle mass and insulin sensitivity improved with all training.
  • Mitochondrial cellular function declined with age but improved with training.
  • Increase in muscle strength occurred only modestly with high-intensity interval training but occurred with resistance training alone or when added to the aerobic training.
  • Exercise improves skeletal muscle gene expression independent of age.
  • Exercise substantially enhanced the ribosomal proteins responsible for synthesizing new proteins, which is mainly responsible for enhanced mitochondrial function.
  • Training has no significant effect on skeletal muscle DNA epigenetic changes but promotes skeletal muscle protein expression with maximum effect in older adults.

Co-authors on the article are all from Mayo Clinic:

  • Matthew Robinson
  • Surendra Dasari, Ph.D.
  • Adam Konopka
  • Matthew L. Johnson
  • Manjunatha Shankarappa, M.D.
  • Raul Ruiz Esponda
  • Rickey Carter, Ph.D.
  • Ian Lanza, Ph.D.

The research was supported by several grants from the National Institutes of Health, as well as by Mayo Clinic, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging and the Murdock-Dole Professorship.

Healthy Byte: HIIT is What You Make of It

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Here’s How To Get The Most Out Of HIIT Workouts To Reap All The Amazing Body Benefits

  • Julia Sullivan, CPTDecember 14, 2021·7 min readIn this article:
  • “Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.”

Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to boost heart health, keep blood sugar levels in check, and maintain the health of our minds for the long haul. But just as there are a multitude of ways to work out and keep your body (and mind) healthy and strong, there are a trove of different approaches you can take to doing cardio. Enter: HIIT, or high-intensity interval training.

HIIT’s definition is a heckuva lot more simple than you might think, says Annie Mulgrew, founding instructor for CITYROW in New York City and NASM-certified CPT. “High-intensity interval training is a form of interval training that alternates between short bursts of intense energy or activity followed by minimal rest, ideally until that person is unable to continue,” she explains.

What Makes A HIIT Workout

And, as Mulgrew notes, HIIT can be just about anything—from swimming to running to mountain climbers in your apartment to even weight training. The key, she says, is ensuring that the “short burst of energy” is at least 80 percent of your maximum effort (so, 8 on a scale of 10).

“For HIIT to be effective, your ‘on’ intervals need to be all-out,” she says. Mulgrew also notes that your rest period shouldn’t exceed your active period (try, 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off). That rest period can contain no movement or moderate-effort movement—that part really isn’t important, she says. Those maximum-effort bursts are where the gains are made, Mulgrew reiterates.

In Mulgrew’s CITYROW classes, for example, that on/off scheme translates to both meters rowed on the rowing machine, as well as resistance training off the rower. “You may find short rowing distance repeats or hip thrusters programmed as 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off,” she says.

If you’re using weights for your HIIT workout, choose a weight that allows you to complete 10 to 20 reps repeatedly in your “on” periods, Mulgrew recommends. Beginners should aim for no more than 20 minutes of HIIT total. And if you’re a total HIIT nut, keep it no longer than 50 to 60 minutes (so the actual HIIT portion of the workout is around 30 minutes and the warm-up/cool-down roughly 20 minutes). “Going any longer than that would most likely mean you’re not able to maintain the intensity you need in order to achieve the benefits of a HIIT workout,” she says.

5 Benefits Of HIIT

Speaking of benefits, here are five major health perks associated with HIIT, plus, how to maximize your next interval workout.

1. You’ll burn a boatload of calories—even after you’ve finished working out.

Although aerobic exercise is a great tool in maintaining your heart health, as far as weight loss tactics go, that steady-state run isn’t the best calorie-burner. And while weight training is typically the most reliable weight loss tactic when it comes to fitness type (remember though, weight loss is achieved through a calorie deficit, which is most easily achieved through diet), if there is one form of cardio that blasts calories, it’s HIIT.

One 2015 study (of healthy men) that compared calorie burn after 30 minutes of HIIT to other forms of steady-state exercise noted that HIIT burned 25 to 30 percent more calories. Other studies (also on men) have noted that HIIT propels your production of human growth hormone, or HGH, upwards of 450 percent in the 24 hours following a session, increasing overall calorie burn.

2. They may help you lose fat quicker (especially around the midsection).

Yep—a study in Journal of Diabetes Research confirmed this. The researchers divided obese, sedentary women into groups: those who partook in a HIIT program and those who did a moderate-intensity (but continuous energy expenditure) routine. The former group achieved similar body composition and aerobic capacity results in half the time.

3. It doesn’t require doing crazy workout moves.

One major (assumed) drawback to HIIT, of course, is the notion you need to be flying, flailing, bounding, and sprinting (with a series of complicated tools, no less) in order to achieve a solid workout. But as Mulgrew points out, the hallmark of HIIT lies in exertion, not the modality, so pretty much any form of exercise fits—and that includes the simplest form of cardio there is: walking.

In one Japanese study, for five months, 700 middle- and older-aged adults engaged in walking intervals (shorter bursts of speed interspersed with periods of rest). At the conclusion of the study, the individuals had noticeably improved endurance and strength.

4. HIIT keeps your brain in shape.

Studies have shown that regular HIIT exercise can boost your memory and make you sharper in everyday decision-making. One (potential) reason why, according to Mulgrew: “During a HIIT workout, you have to stay focused,” she explains.

5. It’s the perfect exercise for that perpetually strapped-for-time person.

And, what’s more, you don’t have to sweat for very long in order to see results. A 2006 study compared two groups of college men for two weeks: those who did stationary bicycling at a moderate pace for roughly an hour-and-a-half to two hours for three times a week, and those who did six 30-second all-out sprints with four minutes of recovery.

Surprise, surprise: The HIIT-ers were just as fit (in terms of exercise performance and muscle growth) as those moderate-intensity exercisers by the end of the trial—with far less time invested.

How to Get the Most From Your HIIT Workout

Here, Mulgrew shares her top tips for ensuring you blast through your next HIIT session.

  1. Prepare to go all-out. “Choose exercises that you know how to perform well and that you are able to perform at an intense level (again at least 80 percent intensity),” Mulgrew says. “Monitor rest and keep it strict.”
  2. But don’t sacrifice form. In that same vein, choosing exercises you know how to do well ensures you’re not attempting to move your body in a new (and potentially injuring-causing) position. When in doubt, keep the “burst” simple.
  3. Warm up extra well. Mulgrew recommends doing five to 10 (or more) minutes of dynamic stretching prior to jumping into a HIIT workout. “If you’re doing traditional cardio HIIT work, establish a baseline of intensities at 50 to 70 percent intensity, and then build from there,” she explains. “I always suggest doing the exercises you’ll perform during your HIIT workout, but non-loaded, so your body knows how to move well first before going at higher intensities.”
  4. Put your phone away. “HIIT requires you to be attentive and focused,” Mulgrew says. “You cannot get distracted. Otherwise, you will lose track of the clock. Use HIIT as a great way to give yourself your own full attention.”

A 25-Minute Total-Body HIIT Routine

Be sure to warm up for at least five minutes prior to jumping in.

Squat Jumps


How to: Start in a squat (feet under shoulders, toes facing forward, thighs parallel to floor) with torso upright and hands clasped in front of chest. Press through feet to straighten legs and jump up off the floor while swinging straight arms behind body. Land back in a squat position. That’s one rep. Perform as many reps as possible for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat five times.

Single-Arm Kettlebell Push Press

How to: Start standing with feet just wider than hips, a kettlebell in right hand, right arm bent with elbow close to body so that the weight rests on shoulder, and left hand on hip. Sink hips slightly into a quarter-squat. Then, quickly push through feet to extend legs, simultaneously pressing kettlebell straight up until right arm is completely extended overhead. With control, lower kettlebell back down. That’s one rep. Perform as many reps as possible for 45 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Repeat for five rounds.

Mountain Climbers

How to: Start in a high plank, shoulders over wrists, pelvis tucked, and ribs drawn toward hips. Drive your right knee toward your chest, then the left. Pull your right knee back toward your chest and pause. Repeat the pattern starting with the left knee. Aim completing 45 seconds of work, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete for five rounds.

Plank Get-Up

How to: Start in a low plank with forearms on the floor and parallel, elbows under shoulders. Pick up right forearm and press through palm to extend arm straight. Then, repeat with left to come into a high plank, keeping hips as level as possible. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Perform as many reps as possible for 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for five rounds.

Healthy Byte: Anti-Aging Workout – Backed by Science

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The most effective anti-aging workout, backed by science

Connie Capone|August 19, 2020

Exercise is hard work, but it pays. Adding to the many reasons to get moving is compelling new research that has found that two exercise methods can slow the aging process by preventing cellular aging: high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and endurance training.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and endurance training are among the best exercise methods to prevent cellular aging, according to research.

What are these exercise methods, and why do they work?

The anti-aging response

In a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers examined the cellular effects of different exercise interventions. Over 6 months, 124 participants were instructed to perform one of three modalities: endurance training, HIIT, or resistance training (using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to increase muscular strength). Some participants were assigned to a control group and instructed to make no change to their exercise regimen.

After 6 months, researchers found that HIIT and endurance training, but not resistance training, increased telomerase activity, which is beneficial for cell growth and replication. Telomeres are nucleotide sequences found at the end of chromosomes that protect our genetic information. When they shorten, cellular aging occurs. HIIT and endurance training were found to increase telomere length, inhibiting cell death, and ultimately producing an anti-aging effect.

Similar results were reported in Cell Metabolism, in a study that compared the metabolic responses from HIIT and resistance training. Participants were placed in cohorts by age (<30 and >65), and randomized to one of three exercise routines: HIIT, resistance training, or a combination of both. After 12 weeks, all exercise routines resulted in improved fitness, boosted insulin sensitivity, and increased lean mass, but HIIT training increased aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function, leading to a reduction in mitochondrial decay, which contributes to aging.

For older adults, HIIT training yielded the most significant reversal in cellular aging. Participants over 65 saw a 69% increase in mitochondrial respiration—the metabolic process within mitochondria that converts energy into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the universal energy donor in our cells. Additionally, adults under 30 saw a 49% increase. Resistance training did not provide this effect in either age group.

According to senior author Sreekumaran Nair, MD, PhD, “Any exercise is better than being sedentary.” Still, he noted that for older adults, HIIT is a highly efficient way to counteract many age-related changes.

Best part? HIIT training has also been proven to be the best exercise method to reduce body fat

Huge benefits, little time commitment

HIIT has gained popularity because it brings powerful benefits without a large time commitment, especially compared with endurance training, which requires long stretches of time. This was demonstrated in a research trial following two groups of sedentary men: one group performing a 10-minute workout with sprint intervals, and another performing 50 minutes of continuous exercise. After 12 weeks, researchers found that both groups saw equal improvements in cardiometabolic health, despite the 40-minute difference in time commitment. In summary, research shows us that HIIT is more efficient than endurance training.

Effectiveness is a different question. Fortunately, it can be answered simply. Which of these routines are you most likely to stick to? That’s the most effective anti-aging workout for you.

“Not everyone reacts to exercise in the same way,” said Daniel Green, PhD, a professor of exercise science at the University of Western Australia, in an interview with The New York Times. “But there is something out there that will benefit almost everyone.”

HIIT and endurance training

HIIT combines short bursts of all-out exercise followed by short periods of rest. Intense work intervals generally last from 15 seconds to 4 minutes, and are performed to achieve 80% to 95% of a person’s maximum heart rate. Recovery intervals last about the same time and are performed at a much lower intensity: 40% to 50% of maximum heart rate. The work/recovery interval is repeated several times, comprising a quick workout between 10 to 40 minutes total. A HIIT regimen can involve treadmills or rowing machines, bodyweight exercises, free weights, or no equipment at all.

Here’s an example of a 10-minute beginner HIIT workout, completed in three rounds with no equipment. For each step, use maximum effort for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds:

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • High kicks
  • Jumping jacks

Keep in mind that this is just a single example. The exercises can vary, so swap in your favorite moves. The key is to dig deep and use maximum effort, regardless of exercise type.

Endurance training is a continuous form of exercise, typically performed at sub-maximal intensity for sessions that range from 30 minutes to several hours. This type of training aims to build endurance, which allows a person to exert long bouts of effort without becoming fatigued. Popular endurance sports such as running, swimming, and cycling are good examples of endurance training, characterized by repeated isotonic contractions of large muscle groups. You can also practice endurance training by performing just about any aerobic exercise (jump rope, lunges, dancing, kickboxing, and more) at a low level of resistance over relatively long periods of time without rests, or with minimal rests in between.

Healthy Byte: Saying Goodbye

ORIGINAL CONTENT:

It has been almost six years since I have reached my weight loss goal and maintained it. Maintenance has been challenging and complicated with the burdens of getting older.

Along with the natural aging process of added wrinkles and sprouting of salt in our pepper the physical evolution is both noticeable and impactful. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information:

One of the most striking effects of age is the involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength, and function, termed sarcopenia [13]. Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60 [4,5].

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804956/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20striking,60%20%5B4%2C5%5D.

Some basic knowledge about muscle verses fat: #1 Muscles burns more calories than fat #2 Muscles weigh more than fat #3 We naturally lose muscles as we age

Therefore the true fountain of youth is to at a minimum, do enough strength training to mitigate the rate of natural muscle loss. Sounds simple enough but for someone who has been overweight and have been groomed to attribute success to set numbers, numbers on the scale and number of the BMI calculation, purposely engaging in an activity which would result in weight gain was very difficult task to embark upon.

But embarked I did … repeatedly … and failed. My vicious cycle of starting regular strength training, gain weight, panic, and quit continued through the majority of my weight maintenance. Until one day, a Facebook ad for a free class at OrangeTheory Fitness changed everything. OrangeTheory is HIIT training classes where every class has a session on the treadmill, rower, and strength training. It is the first time that I’ve stuck with regularly strength training for more than a few months. I absolutely adore the muscle definition on my shoulders and arms & every time I glanced at myself in the studio mirrors, I internally giggle a little.

HOWEVER, along with the muscles, my weight crept up … uncomfortably so. My old struggles with weight resurfaced and I continued to battle with a higher BMI and how the number on the scale was defining my alleged failure. I weigh myself on a weekly bases and if I had lost weight I was emotionally elated, relieved, empowered. But when I gained weight, I was defeated, depressed, and felt incredibly fat. It was heartbreaking to watch the numbers on the scale continue to climb even though I religiously attended OrangeTheory classes a minimum of four times a week.

This passed spring I completed my first full DriTri at OrangeTheory. DriTri is intended to simulate a triathlon with 2000 meters on the rower, a total of 300 body weight exercises on the floor, topped of with a 5K on the treads. I was stunned that I was not the last to finish in my heat, but more importantly I noticed that my overall finish time was better than some members 10 -20 years my junior! It was a testament to all the sweat equity I had invested for the last 4 years but it was also a validation that despite what the scale stated, I had no reason to feel defeated or be depressed about and I certainly was not fat.

And with that, I made the decision to forego the scale going forward. I have stopped my weekly weigh ins and as a matter of fact, I haven’t weigh myself for a little over a month now its quite liberating. I figured if I continue to eat responsibly and continue being physically active, the scale is a tool I no longer needed with my weight loss maintenance journey.

HEALTHY BYTE: Day 3020

That number signifies the number of consecutive days I have logged into MyFitnessPal. I have not missed logging my meals for a little over 8 years. MyFitnessPal was the game-changer which forever impacted the way I eat, what I eat, and how much I eat. To physically see the number of calories I consumed in ratio to my physical activities (or lack there of), it educated me and held me accountable for my choices.

It’s like balancing a check book but instead of money, the currency is calories. So for example, if I had 340 calories to spend, do I want to drink it away via a Starbucks Tall (12 fl oz) White Chocolate Mocha at 340 calories or would I rather eat a 4oz turkey sandwich on Brioche bread for about 270 calories? When put into those terms, I would always opt to eat my calories over drinking my calories. And its small incremental lifestyle changes like this which allowed me to lose close to 62 lbs and keep it off for almost 8 years – refusing to be a participant to the weight loss statistic of weight regain.

I often still struggle will the little things because the inner fat girl is never far behind. I distinctively remember being particularly excited in purchasing a brilliant orange red sweater from the Loft after stalking it to go on sale for months. When it finally arrived, I pulled it out of the packaging and instantly a wave of cold sweat poured over me, a knot developed in my stomach, and I felt fat. I held up the XS sweater and it looked so ridiculously small that I was convinced that I was too fat to fit in it – not that the sweater was too small but that I was too fat. I tossed it down on the bed and was disgusted with myself for having that extra slice pizza a week ago. It took a few days before I would gather enough nerve to try it on and it did fit me perfectly but instead of taking pride that fitting into an XS was the result of my hard work, I discounted it and chalked it up to luck. And to some, this all may sound utterly ridiculous because I didn’t have 100+ or 200+ lbs to lose, but losing almost 40% of my original body weight and keeping it off should be a celebration in it of itself.

Being in weight loss maintenance, I have had to continuously make slight adjustments to my nutrition with little effort. However, finding a regular physical activity to keep me active & motivated has been challenging because I am naturally lazy and a homebody. From hours of research, I know that losing muscle is a natural part of aging and since muscle burns more fat it means that it makes no difference what nutrition choices I make, unless I consciously counter the muscle loss, as I get older, I will continue to put on weight even if my food choices doesn’t change at all. Strength training has been an Achilles heel, my personal kryptonite. Intellectually, I understand the importance of strength training, that muscle weighs more than fat, and that non-scale victories should be my weight loss maintenance goal. But emotionally, its really difficult to let that number on the scale go – to let that number on the scale not trigger fear of getting fat. Every time I regularly strength trained (3 times a week) I gained weight. I would see a number on the scale that frightened me and I would quit. This vicious cycle continued until I found OrangeTheory Fitness . It is HIIT training which incorporates two forms of cardio and regular strength training. It is highly effective. It provides a wide range of goals for me to work towards. It has helped me develop nice muscle definition on my shoulders and my arms. But it is at the expense of my weight – or at least the weight I would prefer to be rather than what I currently am. I have to learn to redefine what thin should look like for me and it is an ongoing struggle but I see role models like Ernestine Shepherd that keeps me pushing forward through the fear.

Healthy Byte: Post Workout Refueling

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Originally Posted HERE

High intensity interval training – otherwise known as HIIT – is a firm favourite among gym-goers. It’s efficient, it forces you to work hard, and it targets the whole body in each calorie-blasting session.

To get the most out of your HIIT classes, you want to make sure you’re doing it right – and that includes your food intake before and after the session, too. But it can be hard to know what’s best; is it better to eat immediately before a high intensity workout? Or should you do it on an empty stomach in a bid to burn more fat?

Cosmopolitan asked Alexandra Cook – aka The Sports Dietitian, who’s working in partnership with nutritional supplement brand Lift – what her advice is when it comes to fuelling and re-fuelling for a HIIT workout.

“If you want to have a good session, being well fuelled is important,” Alexandra says. “Ensure you eat regular meals balanced with carbs and protein throughout the day, and well-timed snacks before and after training.”

The Sports Dietitian’s rule of thumb is to eat “a balanced meal 3 hours before exercise, and then a high energy snack an hour before to make sure you are powered and good to go.” If you’re not the meal-prepping type, a high energy snack in your gym bag will suffice.

For professional athletes who are training intensively, and often more than once a day, it’s important that they eat within 30 minutes of finishing training. For us mere mortals, the dietitian reassures us that the rules are more lax.

“Ensure you have a carbohydrate and protein based snack or balanced meal within 1-2 hours of finishing training, and then continue to ensure you have adequate carbs and protein throughout the rest of your day to meet individual training needs,” suggests the dietitian.

Alexandra’s recommendation for a quick, on-the-go refuel is a smoothie “mixing 1 banana, 30g of oats, 1 tbsp nut butter and 350-500mls of milk.”

Eating swiftly after your HIIT session is advisable because “the muscles are thought to be primed to accept nutrients immediately after exercise,” explains the expert. “This
will make sure you have a good balance of carbs and protein to start the recovery process.”

And what better way to help repair the damage of 50+ burpees than with a tasty snack?

Healthy Byte: Workout Smarter Not Longer

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What if you could get all the benefits of a sweaty bike ride and a trip to the weight room in 7 minutes?

There’s an app for that — and it’s the best one we saw this past year.

Originally envisioned by a personal trainer and an exercise physiologist, the 7-minute workout app builds on new research suggesting that short spurts of intense exercise can provide long lasting benefits comparable to longer, more grueling regimens.

Anyone can use the app — all it takes is a smartphone, a spare wall, and a chair.

The Workout

The 7-minute session (which was so successful it inspired the New York Times to release their own version of the app a few months after the original came out) consists of 12 relatively standard exercises like jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups. Ten of them require nothing but your own body (you’ll need a chair that can support your weight for the other two).

times 7-minute workoutHere’s the Times app counting down: 18 more seconds of jumping jacks. Screenshot

Here’s the full set of exercises, which I tried out myself:

1. Jumping Jacks

2. Wall sits

3. Push-ups

4. Crunches

5. Step-up (on chair)

6. Squats

7. Triceps dips (on chair)

8. Planks

9. High knees/running in place

10. Lunges

11. Push-ups and rotations

12. Side planks

Between each exercise, you rest for 10 seconds.

Worth The Hype?

The workout is quick, unpleasant (in the way only a good workout can be), and came with some pretty quick results — I was slightly sore in two areas of my body that my 5-day-a-week yoga regimen hasn’t seemed to have reached. I also noticed a little bit of extra mental clarity and decreased anxiety (which is why I do yoga) immediately after the workout.

Another plus to the 7-minute-regimen: I live in a New York apartment with very little extra space, but I was nevertheless able to do the whole workout in a corner of my living room using just my phone, a yoga mat, and a fold-up chair.

A Few Caveats

7-minute workout times appThe Times app illustrates how to do a wall sit. Screenshot

As expected, the physical benefits didn’t seem to last quite as long as my 1.5-hour yoga sessions. While my heart raced and my mind cleared for a few minutes immediately after the workout, those side effects wore off within a few hours. I only did it twice, though, so perhaps if I committed to a daily 7-minute workout the benefits would persist.

Also, since this specific workout is so new, there are no long-term studies comparing its results to those of longer cardio and weight-training workouts. In general, though, the evidence researchers do have supports the benefits of high-intensity intervals, both in terms of building muscle mass and improving heart health.

Even for patients with coronary artery disease, short bouts of intense interval training were found to be more beneficial in helping them regain heart function than traditional, continuous workouts — though anyone with a heart condition should consult a doctor before trying a new exercise routine.

The Science

The workout is based on the idea of interval training, an exercise style of short, intense periods of exercise broken up by brief periods of rest. Despite being far less time consuming, an interval workout may actually be more beneficial than a comprehensive, hours-long bout of exercise, according to some research done in the past decade.

So instead of a grueling one-hour run followed by weight-lifting, for example, you can do several minutes’ worth of intense push-ups, squats, and jumping jacks for similar results.

That’s pretty significant considering that many of us skip working out because we feel we don’t have enough time, because the weather is bad, or because a gym membership is too expensive.

The Mayo Clinic endorses interval training, as does the American Council on Exercise. A 2012 study comparing two groups of runners — one who trained by doing traditional, continuous runs and another which did interval training — found both groups achieved nearly the same results (the only difference being that the interval trainers had better peak oxygen uptake, an important measure of endurance). And a recent study in the journal Diabetologia found that doing walking interval training — walking briskly for three minutes and resting for three minutes for an hour — helped people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels far better than simply walking at the same pace continuously.

The most important thing when doing interval training is committing as much effort as possible throughout the whole workout, making sure to push yourself. After all, each exercise only lasts 30 seconds.

Seven hellish minutes later, you’re done.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Interval vs Marathon

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So you swore you’d run a marathon this year.

Good news: You can stop feeling guilty about not starting to train for it yet.

As it turns out, you can get some of the same benefits of long-distance running and other types of endurance training without ever passing the five-mile mark.

That’s right. Running fast and hard for five to 10 minutes a day can add years to your life, just as running for hours can. In fact, people who run for less than an hour a week — so long as they get in their few minutes of daily running — getsimilar benefits in terms of heart health compared with people who run more than three hours a week.

That finding squares with recent research showing that short bursts of intense exercise can provide some of the same health benefits as long, endurance-style workouts.

Marathoners, meet interval training
One of the most popular forms of the quick workout — and the one that has been studied the most — is interval training. Basically, you work yourself as hard and fast as you can for a few minutes, rest, then do it again.

The best part? It typically lasts between five and 10 minutes total. (There’s even a New York Times workout app based on the idea, called the 7-Minute Workout. More on that here.)

Despite consuming far less time than a marathon training session, an interval workout may actually be healthier in the long run (pun intended), according to some research done in the past decade.

A 2012 study comparing a group of runners who did traditional, continuous runs with a group of runners who did interval training found that both groups achieved nearly the same results. There was one small difference, though: The interval trainers had better peak oxygen uptake, an important measure of endurance.

And a recent study in the journal Diabetologia found that doing walking interval training — an hour of alternating between three minutes of brisk walking and three minutes of stopping — helped people with diabetes control their blood-sugar levels far better than simply walking at the same pace continuously.

Still not convinced?
Consider this: Distance running could actually be bad for you.

There’s some evidence to suggest that prolonged, intense exercise — such as the type necessary in the weeks and months before a marathon and in the race itself — can have some unhealthy side effects, from reduced immune function to digestive issues.

Working the body to its maximum, some research shows, can reduce the body’s natural ability to fend off upper-respiratory infections including colds and the flu. Short bouts of activity, on the other hand, improve immune function. Quick workouts appear to not only reduce your chances of getting sick, but also to reduce the severity of an illness when you do come down with something.

Up to 71% of long-distance runners also experience abdominal cramping and diarrhea. (The latter is so frequent that runners have a term for it: “runner’s trots,” aka “runner’s diarrhea.”) Many runners, even those without a history of it, experience acid reflux — a condition with effects like heartburn, indigestion, coughing, hoarseness, and asthma — during and immediately after a long run.

Here’s what it all comes down to: Whether you stick to a long-distance routine or opt for a quicker, daily exercise plan, it’s important to keep in mind that more is not always better.

Original Article Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: 12-Minute Full Body Workout

You’re welcome!

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most efficient ways to improve your fitness. Trainer Farouk Houssein (pictured) created this plan to target your entire body in only 12 minutes! (Photo: The Fhitting Room)

When life has you down or stress seems overwhelming, sometimes there’s only one thing you can do: Sweat it out.

The body benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are well-known: You reap the results of your plan (whether it be cardio, strength, or a combination of both) in a super-short workout. The mental benefits, however, shouldn’t be underestimated: After a HIIT session, you’ll feel refocused, proud of yourself, and powerful. The workouts are so short that even the most crazy-busy person can fit one in.

That’s why we reached out to the HIIT specialists — The Fhitting Room studio in New York City — for a quick, full-body workout that’s also a heck of a lot of fun. The routine below, created and demonstrated by Fhitting Room trainer Farouk Houssein, delivers results in only 12 minutes!

“This workout is efficient and to the point. Anyone who is pressed for time or limited on equipment can do this,” Houssein tells Yahoo Health. “These dynamic exercises combined with the high-intensity design of the workout will build lean muscle and blast fat long after your workout is complete.”

How to do it: The workout has two parts: a 2-minute interval session and an 8-minute circuit challenge. Rest 2 minutes after the intervals before going on to part two of the workout.

PART 1: 4-Minute Tabata Burn

Tabata is a method of interval training that combines all-out bouts of exercise with very short rest periods. For this workout, you’ll do 20 seconds of max effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat this eight times (4 minutes total). Alternate between the two exercises below each round.

1. Tuckups

Start on the ground, balancing yourself on only your butt and hugging your knees. 

This will be your start and end position.

Then, simultaneously extend the legs and arms out.

Bring your knees and arms in to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

2. Burpees

Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips to lower your body into a squat, then place your hands on the floor in front of your body.

Then, kick your feet back so that you are in pushup position. Lower your chest to the floor.

Then reverse the movement: Press up to finish the pushup, kick your feet into a squat, and stand up. Complete the move by jumping into the air with arms overhead. All of that is one rep.

PART 2: Full-Body Challenge

For the second part of this workout, set a timer for 8 minutes. Do eight reps of each exercise below, in order. That’s one round. Complete as many rounds as you can before the timer buzzes. (Rest as needed.) Record how many rounds you finish so that you can try to beat your number the next time you do this workout.

1. Dumbbell Thrusters

Perform this exercise as one continuous movement.

To begin, hold a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders with palms in and elbows facing forward.

Then, bend at your hips and knees to lower your body into a squat.

Now rapidly stand up while pressing the dumbbells overhead. (It’s OK to use the momentum of your body to help press the dumbbells.)

Return the weights to your shoulders, and repeat the steps. 

2. Renegade Row with Pushup

Grasp a set of dumbbells, palms in. Set up in a plank position: dumbbells and your toes on the floor, arms straight, with your body forming a straight line from head to toe.

Keeping your body in a straight line, pull one dumbbell up to your chest, squeezing your upper back at the top of the movement.

Return to the plank position.

Row the dumbbell on your other side, then perform a pushup. All of that is one rep.

3. Jumping Alternating Lunges

Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Take a big step forward and lower the body until the back knee gently touches the ground. Keep your shin vertical, and don’t let the front knee pass your toes.

Jump both feet off the ground simultaneously and switch leading legs in the air.

Land in the same position, but with the other leg in front. That’s one rep.

Originally Posted HERE

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