How HIIT Challenges the Body and Improves Fat Loss

If you’ve read just about any fitness blog, magazine or website in recent years, then you’ll likely have come across HIIT. HIIT: high intensity interval training. Sprinting at maximum heart rate for a short period of time and then switching to a slower form of exercise for a couple of minutes to recover before starting the whole cycle again.

This type of training is all the rage because it is known to burn more calories in less time when compared with steady state cardio. And it’s great for our VO2 max, mitochondrial function and more.hiit

But why? How does it work? What makes it so special?

What Happens When You Push it Hard

When you engage in HIIT, you start out by pushing hard and going at or near to your maximum heart rate. This is what makes all the difference, as now you are depleting your body of all of its readily available energy in order to drive those fast twitch muscle fibers. This is anaerobic training and it relies on ATP stored in the muscles, as well as glycogen.

After this, you then switch to your regular exercise at around 70% of your maximum heart rate. This is a steady pace that you can maintain, that burns fat using the aerobic system and that allows you to recover and reduce the lactate and other metabolites that build up in your blood during intensive exercise.

Welcome to After Burn

Steady state cardio is normally something you can maintain for a long time before you start to tire out and this is why a lot of people will exercise by running at a steady pace for 40-60 minutes.

If you do this after having done high intensity training however, you will be running at a point when you have very little available energy in your muscles and in your blood. All the glycogen has been used up and thus you have to rely even more on fat in order to keep going. Your body becomes more efficient at burning fat and you see greater benefits from the short amount of training that comes after.

But this isn’t even the best bit. What’s so good about HIIT is that this after burn effect continues for hours after you finish training. You’re now going about your usual activities with less glycogen, which means you’ll burn more fat even to do regular things like picking up a fork, or walking across the room!

Athletic Benefits

HIIT is also great for numerous other reasons. For starters, the explosive nature of the training means that you’re involving your fast twitch muscle fibers. This means that you’ll release more anabolic hormones like growth hormone and like testosterone, leading to more growth. And because you’re not completely relying on your blood sugar, you’re not going to go into as catabolic a state and risk burning fat.

Another benefit of HIIT is that it improves your energy efficiency. Because you’re pushing your cells to make energy more quickly, they become better at doing just that – improving your health, fitness and athletic performance across the board!

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The Importance of Good Eating Habits and How to Inculcate Them

Eating right is the key to healthy living and good eating habits go a long way in improving our health and nourishing the body. A fit and active lifestyle demand right nutrition for the body to function. A good eating habit reduces our daily burden as it becomes a part of our routine and no extra efforts are needed to follow the habit.

The first step to developing good eating habits is to make sure that all meals are in sync with your body needs. An athletic lifestyle needs extra nutrition to support the muscles while a sedentary lifestyle can function with less calorie intake.eating

There are many ways to develop good eating habits which give the body adequate nutrition and energy. One way is to balance the meals in terms of nutrients. A good diet must include 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 35% fats. All these nutrients are necessary for the body and the lack of any one of them can harm the body in the long run.

The next way to develop good eating habits is to maintain a food diary. Recording our meals gives us an insight about how and what we are eating every day. It helps to reduce calories from the diet easily by cutting down on processed sugars and artificial foods.

Another easy way to make sure that the body gets complete nutrition is to include more greens in your diet. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and keep you full for longer. This reduces your cravings for sugar and fatty foods. One more approach towards healthy eating is to set a limit for yourself. Setting a calorie intake limit as per your body weight keeps us in control and reminds us of our goals. Choosing a smaller plate for eating your meals is proven to reduce the food intake drastically.

The last and the most important step towards good eating is to hydrate your body. Make it a habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. Set a reminder on your phone at intervals to remind you about water intake. Water aids in digestion and improves metabolism.

So these are the 5 ways to develop good eating habits for your body and health. Eating right and exercising regularly increase the immunity and endurance of the body. They also help to maintain your overall health and reduce the chances of many lifestyle-related diseases like stress and cardiac problems.

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Can a Fitness Tracker Help You to Lose Weight?

Fitness Trackers are all the rage right now, with devices from companies like Fitbit selling in huge numbers and being pretty ubiquitous. Wearing a Fitbit is as much a fashion statement as anything else though. This is a way of communicating to the world that you ‘do fitness’ and that you are up to scratch with modern technology.

What’s less clear, is just whether or not a device like this can really help you to lose weight and get into better shape. Read on and we’ll take a look at how something like a Fitbit stacks up in real-world testing and how you can use it to your advantage.Fitness Trackers

The Good

First, let’s take a look at what fitness trackers do well. The first and most important thing that you will get from your fitness tracker is motivation and awareness. At their most basic, fitness trackers are devices that can count steps (pedometers) and tell you roughly how many calories you might have burned on that basis.

This can then bring home the reality of your current activity levels. Many of us will be shocked for instance at just how little we move during the weekends. Those who work in offices and drive in in the mornings like equally find that they actually don’t move much Monday-Friday.

Seeing this reality written in plain English can make it hard to deny and can encourage you to move a little more and to increase your general activity levels.

This gets even more powerful when you consider the social elements that many fitness trackers come with. A lot of fitness trackers will also let you see how your friends, family and partner are doing in terms of their fitness goals – or to challenge them to see who can move the most in a set amount of time.

This too can be an excellent tool for encouraging more activity and getting you to head outside and move more.

Then there are the additional tools and features – things like being able to follow guided workouts and HIIT routines for instance.

The Bad

There are downsides to fitness trackers too however. The first is that they are not usually particularly accurate. Heart rate monitoring is only possible to a degree if you aren’t wearing a chest strap and even then, it is only somewhat correlated with calorie burn.

Many activities can’t be picked up by a fitness tracker at all and while the notion of making sure you burn more calories than you consume (tracked through a fitness tracker and diet app like MyFitnessPal), this can also be an overly simplistic way to monitor your diet that doesn’t take into account such things as your micronutrients or your hormonal balance.

In short, a fitness tracker is a fantastic tool for helping with your weight loss and it can be very useful. However, it is also important not to rely on them or to perceive them as any kind of ‘silver bullet’ that will help you to magically lose all your weight.

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