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10 Reasons Why High Intensity Training Is Superior

May 27, 2008
There is much hype about steady state aerobic training being the best bet for effective fat loss but new research has surfaced in terms of the actual effect it has on our metabolism when you have packed your gym bag and gone home.

1) Increased antioxidant production
Antioxidants are enzymes produced by the body as a form of defense system to protect our cells from free radical damage. They also prevent cellular injury caused by exercise and delays muscle fatigue. You can get antioxidants from vitamins like C & E and beta carotene. During exercise, the body produces both antioxidants and free radicals but the free radicals produced are not excessive and therefore, not detrimental to our health.

2) Anti-inflammatory response
Your body becomes efficient at healing itself when an injury occurs.

3) Efficient Nitric Oxide response
Nitric Oxide is produced in the body and is important for the regulation of blood flow to the muscles, especially the heart. Increase blood flow to the exerciser means increased nutrients to the muscle, therefore promoting growth. It is beneficial to us as it encourages a healthy cardiovascular system.

4) Increased the heart's capacity
The heart is more efficient at handling life's every day stressors.

5) Teaches the heart to respond and recover
When the body is exposed to demands made by variable intensity training, it is training itself to be alert upon a sudden burst of movement and to recover quickly and efficiently in anticipation of the next burst of speed.

6) Avoids boredom
The drop-out rate for high intensity exercisers is lower due to the fact that they have to be alert at all times as the change in pace is fast. It is certainly not boring!

7) Reduce risk for joint wear and tear
Unlike steady state aerobics, the stop and go motion gives the body a chance to recover during the slow-down period. This reduces the risk of wearing the joints.

8) Increase residual metabolic rate
High intensity training trains the metabolism to stay elevated for many hours after the exercise is over. You may be sleeping and still be burning calories. This is beneficial for fat loss

9) Retain muscle
Variable intensity physical training does not promote muscle wasting as compared to running at a steady state for 40 minutes. It, in fact, retains muscle mass.

10) Allows for cross training
With this type of training, you can program to work out for 10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the stationary bike and 10 minutes on the elliptical training. The benefit of this is that each machine will train different parts of the body in just 30 minutes.

This is not to say that you shouldn't add steady state training to your training menu. In fact, it is better to have a variety of options to avoid over-straining and burnt out as high intensity training can be stressful if done excessively.

Because of the high intensity of this type of training, it is advisable to keep the duration to no more than 30 minutes per session. In this instance, you don't need to train so long as your metabolism will keep burning long after you have rested your head on your pillow.
About the Author
Nina Redza is a health & fitness professional who embraces a healthy lifestyle and loves new challenges. You can learn more about adopting a healthy lifestyle here: http://www.ninaredza.com/fatloss.htm
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