Life can get pretty busy—so busy that it seems like there simply isn’t enough time to get in a good workout. Whether trying to lose weight, shave minutes off a race time or bulk up at the gym, many people think they need to exercise for an hour or more to gain any real benefit. But sometimes short workouts are more effective than longer ones and are always better than not doing any exercise at all.
One word is posted daily on the MisFit Fitness social media pages, and the challenge is simple, you use the exercises attached to the letter to complete the workout for the word. This is not instructor led, however guidance can be provided. With personal willpower and dedication, this can be a daily fitness routine you can fit into your own life and around your own commitments from the comfort of your own home with the following benefits:
1. Improving cardiovascular health
The maximum volume of oxygen a person can use at a given time is an indicator of overall fitness level, as well as lung and heart health. (Think about how quickly you get out of breath during exercise—that’s the moment when your body is having more difficulty getting oxygen to your muscles to sustain exercise.) Many studies have shown that compared to steady-state exercises, interval training promotes greater improvements in VO2 max and overall fitness.
During every period of intense exercise, you are increasing your cardiovascular ability. Then, during the short resting periods, the body learns to recover more quickly. Going forward, the heart needs less time to rest, which builds its stamina and improves its ability to use oxygen and maintain an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time.
2. Burning fat
Intense short workouts trigger excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. During a difficult “burst” period of exercise, the body experiences an oxygen deficit. Because of this, a higher level of oxygen is needed to facilitate the restoration of hormone levels and glucose stores once the workout is over and your body goes into recovery mode.
Following intense exercise, your body is also working hard to repair muscle fibers and tissue. After a high intensity workout your body needs more “fuel” or energy in addition to more oxygen. Fat stores within the body are broken down, and free fatty acids are released into the bloodstream, which become oxidised and are used by the body for energy.
As your go about your day, your body uses more oxygen to bring itself back to its resting state, burning more calories and fat in the process well after the workout is over.
3. Building lean muscle mass
In addition to burning fat and boosting cardiovascular health, intense short workouts also produce muscle-building hormones, which controls bone and tissue growth. This important growth hormone has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in the body, particularly the skeletal muscle, thus allowing the body to build lean muscle mass more effectively.
Elevated levels of testosterone promote weight loss, muscle mass and high energy levels, but as men and women age, their testosterone levels naturally decline, leading to obesity and a weakened metabolism. In those instances, making high-intensity exercise a habit will lead to increased hormone balance and the continued building of lean muscle mass.