I'm Gene Millen, your host on this website with my wife Bernie.
These exercise principles were first introduced to me more than five decades ago when I tried out for the the high school track team.
Our coach had us do at least 20 minutes of conditioning each day. He called them "wind sprints". Our team had a more descriptive name for them.
As we jogged around the track for a while, we were required to sprint all out for about 40 yards and then slow down to a walk as our lungs cried out "Please don't do that again."
In the beginning we looked upon this exercise principal as an extreme form of punishment, but we learned later that these alternating intensity workouts, now known as interval training, dramatically improved our energy and performance.
Don’t panic. I’m not recruiting for the geriatric track team...but there is a law of nature at work here that applies to the young or old, fit or fat. Our Creator designed the human body with the miraculous ability to adapt.
Our granddaughter Natalie, who is pictured on the left, is a great illustration of the human body's ability to adapt. She spent the first thirteen months of her life confined to a crib in a crowded, understaffed hospital in Siberia.
Soon after getting settled in her new home in Texas, Natalie immediately began to make up for lost time. In a matter of weeks she rushed from crawling to walking, to sprinting like an Olympic gymnast.
Natalie’s Mom and Dad will attest to the fact that her “normal” activity level accelerated from inactive to an astounding high-energy dynamo.
If you are a couch potato (heaven forbid) or in the "as little as possible" exercise category you too can make dramatic progress in your physical condition by employing the interval training concept.
And it will take as little as three 10 to 12 minutes sessions three or four days per week.
A Canadian study followed exercisers who burned 300 to 400 calories per session. A control group matched the same routine one-third of the time.
Two thirds of the time they exercised for a shorter period during which they burned only 225-250 calories—but they included occasional 30-90 second bursts of high-intensity exercise.
The fat loss of the group who worked out less was nine times greater than the subjects performing moderate exercise.
Of the three key exercise variables…how often you do it, how hard you work and how long you last, intensity has the most powerful effect.
Shape Magazine recently featured an excellent article about interval training, titled that was featured on the American College of Sports Medicine website.
British researchers tracked 1,975 healthy men over ten years. The men who exercised the hardest had a 47% percent lower risk of death from all causes and a whopping 62% lower risk of death from heart disease, compared with those who reported very little or no intense exercise.
The best part however is that these benefits were achieved with as little as nine minutes per day of vigorous activity.
The principle of adaptation also applies to strengthening your muscles, which need to be worked hard to become stronger.
The average person loses up to 20 pounds of muscle by age 70 and since each pound of muscle burns up to 50 calories per day it is easy to see why “love handles” and “spare tires” sneak up on us.
Your body responds to short bursts of intensity by releasing a cascade of fat-mobilizing hormones and anti-aging growth hormones that supercharge your metabolism and burn extra calories for 24 hours or longer.
Low carbers have a limited amount of glycogen (stored sugar) available and so the body utilizes the fat on the belly, hips and other unwanted places as the primary sources of energy during exercise.
Our ancient ancestors never ran for long distances without rest or recovery. Their exercise was primarily hunting, or trying to keep from being some dinosaur's lunch.
Their "workouts" consisted of short bursts of exertion, followed by periods of rest, and this is how Dr. Sears program works.
Think you’re too old or out of shape to get started on “wind sprints”? It’s never too late to start feelin’ great!
If you're carrying around a few extra pounds and want some great ideas on losing weight with these exercise principles your can download our FREE Weight Loss EBook.
If you are like I was for the first 59 years of my life and have let procrastination push your exercise weight loss plan to the bottom of your priority list you may want to take advantage of this free program.
You can reawaken the energy and vitality you had years ago. Plus, you'll burn more calories, increase your lung capacity, and improve your heart health.
Thanks for joining us on the journey toVital Heart Health for Life!