Bursts of Strenuous Activity Beat Sustained Exercise
High-intensity exercise is better at preventing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, than typical sustained activities like jogging or biking.
High-intensity, anaerobic exercise can be more effective at building strength and flexibility. New research also indicates it's better at preventing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, than typical sustained activities like jogging or biking.
More demanding exercise that pushes the body to its exercise limits for shorter periods of time was once thought to be relevant only to professional athletes looking for competitive advantages at the highest levels of sport. But scientists now believe that short bursts of activity (typically thirty to sixty seconds) followed by a recovery period are more effective than continuous moderate activity at improving cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, and mechanical functions.
"A 12-week controlled study in Denmark of high-intensity interval walking for patients with Type 2 diabetes showed it helped control blood glucose levels better than continuous moderate exercise, even though the same number of calories was expended by both groups. Interval training also was more effective at enhancing the patients’ physical fitness and reducing body fat relative to lean muscle tissue."
Big Think expert Dr. Joseph Zuckerman argues that a very repetitive exercise regime, i.e., limiting your activity to only one form of exercise, is really only useful for highly competitive athletes. If you're looking for health and fitness, cross-training is essential, which includes combining sustained exercise with high-intensity activities:
The Danish study also found that high-intensity exercise helps widen the body's arteries more than moderate, sustained activity. Studies in Canada and France have found that people already suffering with conditions like pulmonary disease or a stroke actually tolerate high-intensity activity better because it does not wear as much on the body's joints.
Wider arteries also mean blood and oxygen can flow more efficiently throughout the body, and crucially, to the brain. In older generations, this can mean staving off the cognitive decline associated with old age. Precisely because of how exercise benefits the brain, geriatrician Patria Bloom calls it "the real fountain of youth."
Read more at the New York Times
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.
- China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
- Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
- Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.