How fast and how to exercise

“Minimum investment in exchange for maximum return” – this seems to be the line of late-night TV shopping ads, but it is actually published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Magazine (Health & Fitness Journal) A subtitle of a sports medicine review article in the May-June issue. Especially after the New York Times report, this article entitled "High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight" is becoming the headline of the world's major media. The article discusses a hot topic - high-intensity interval training, which is short and intense training, with a short break during training. Previously recommended is 150 minutes of moderate training or 90 minutes of high-intensity training each week, but now you only need 15 minutes of high-intensity intermittent training, 3 times a week, you can get similar health benefits.

First of all, let's take a brief look at the benefits of exercise. Authorities such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a combination of aerobic exercise and muscle strength training, as extensive research has shown that this training method can effectively reduce premature death and coronary heart disease risk of diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer. After a meta-analysis of existing papers, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that only 90 minutes of moderate exercise per week would reduce the risk of premature death by 20%; within a certain range, the longer the exercise, the lower the better the risk of premature death, the risk will be reduced by 40% by 300 minutes, and the best effect will be achieved. After more than 300 minutes, the effect will decrease.

But many of us have even less than 30 minutes of exercise per week, far less than the recommended amount of 90 minutes or 150 minutes. Lack of exercise is one of the world's leading health killers. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is an independent global health research center headed by the University of Washington. It shows that the lack of exercise in the United States ranks as the sixth-largest health killer and is the 10th in China. We are becoming less and less active, so how fast and healthy the fitness method plays a vital role in our society today. As early as 1996, the high-intensity intermittent training method was recommended for the first time. At that time, a Japanese research team led by Professor Izumi Tabata compared the 60-minute moderate training with the 4-minute indoor exercise bike high-intensity training. The aerobic exercise volume of the intensity intermittent training group is basically consistent with the low-intensity training, and the former has a more significant improvement in anaerobic exercise. A study released in 2011 by the Department of Sports and Health Education at Southern Illinois University in the United States showed that only 15 minutes of intensive training can sustain their resting energy expenditure (metabolic rate). Change 72 hours, which is equivalent to the effect of 35 minutes of regular exercise. Another study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales showed that each 15-minute high-intensity interval training was performed three times a week, compared to traditional, longer-lasting exercises. Its effect of losing weight and reducing insulin resistance is actually better. I think these findings are very important because in most countries, as obesity increases, the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise.

When it comes to physical exercise, I admit that I am not a sportsman. It is a very lazy person, so I prefer an instant fast fitness method. When I first heard about the high-intensity intermittent training method last fall, I started a routine exercise for 5 minutes every morning. First, do as much squat thrust as possible within 30 seconds, repeat 10 seconds after 10 seconds of rest, and go on for a total of 5 minutes. In addition to this kind of exercise, high-intensity squat push-ups, squats, standing berths, slabs, and laps are equally effective. The premise is that each group of exercises is exhausted and resumes immediately after a short break. I admit, one month later, I stopped this routine exercise - every time I made up my mind to keep exercising, but I ended up halfway. But in the weeks that I continued to exercise, I did feel that I was physically fit and physically flexible, and I felt muscle soreness after each exercise. I started this 7-minute cycle of new promotion of the New York Times Chinese website last week, supplemented by a 30-second interval. Through the loop training, you constantly exercise different muscle groups alternately. After the whole training is completed, all your muscle groups are exercised. You can choose any form of exercise for high-intensity intermittent training, but an added bonus of this special cycling training is that you don't need any weight training or exercise equipment, just a wall, a chair, and your own body. This kind of training can be done anywhere - in your home, office or hotel room.

The training method is that 30 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest so that each training lasts for 7 minutes and 30 seconds. You can also add this process one or two more times for better results. A short break during training is important because it increases your healthy metabolic response. During the training, you definitely need tools to remember the time. In this regard, I found many smartphone or tablet apps to be a good choice. With proper settings, they will beep very accurately during the interval. Simply search for your HIIT, Tabata or Interval timer in your application library and pick from a number of programs.

The key here is that you need to force yourself to stick to it, not to play casually. Regarding exercise intensity, many research reports have mentioned the words "unpleasant" and "uncomfortable". Many research reports also mention a concept called "maximum oxygen uptake." The maximum oxygen uptake is measured by the oxygen sensor, but it is generally associated with your maximum heart rate value. Therefore, we should all know our maximum heart rate value. Fortunately, it's easy to figure out that you can search the web calculator online, or you can calculate it yourself. A study published in 2001 by Dr. Hiromi Tanaka, Ph.D. in applied physiology and kinematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, introduced a calculation formula: maximum heart rate during exercise = 208- 0.7x age. For example, when I was 45 years old, my maximum heart rate (ie, maximal oxygen uptake) was 208-0.7×45=177 (times/minute). If I want to achieve a low-intensity exercise target of 150 minutes per week, then my target heart rate for moderate exercise is 60% of the maximum heart rate, which is 0.6 × 177 = 106 (times/minute). For higher intensity exercises, it is recommended that the heart rate by 80% of the maximum heart rate value, which is 142 (times/minute) for me. I usually get my heart rate through 30 minutes of indoor running or treadmill training, and frankly, I don't feel the slightest discomfort in this kind of exercise. However, for more intense high-intensity intermittent exercise, the maximum heart rate value is 159-177 (times per minute). So every time I finish the above routine training, I really feel a bit "unpleasant" because the heart rate reaches 160, which is the value I should reach.

So now I really have no reason not to exercise. I only need to get up early 10 minutes a day or do something else a little faster in the morning, then complete one or two rounds of routine exercise, 3 times a week. With this amount of exercise plus the amount of exercise I commute to and from work every day, I can be more emboldened when I give patients standardized lifestyle advice.

I think this kind of sports research, which is evidenced by personal experience, is very convincing, so it also changes the usual way of discourse when I used to prescribe patients. Previously, I always referred the patient to the usual recommended length of exercise (ie 150 minutes per week for low-intensity or 90 minutes for high-intensity exercise), but now I can describe the movement more attractive - once every 15 minutes, every 3 times a week. Of course, this is not attractive to people who are already exercising or participating in sports. Moreover, with regard to high-intensity intermittent exercise, there is currently a lack of data on long-term effects and risk reduction. But for a "silent majority" like me who barely participate in sports, it's obviously better to do high-intensity intermittent exercise than to do nothing, and from a global perspective, it can save millions. Life

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  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.