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As far as exercise is concerned, I think that many of us have lost perspective; I admit that I completely lost it. Let me explain this better. Since there was a time in my life in which I started to conceive exercise as a mere pathway to get my ideal body or simply just as a means of losing weight, I ended up associating exercise exclusively with weight loss and diet plans. Yes, for me, being able to shed pounds without strenuous exercise was a chimera. And -you know it already-, when you think about an activity only in terms of sacrifice and obligation, sooner or later, such activity will be the object of your deepest hatred. It will turn out to be the last thing you will be willing to do and the most boring and painful activity on earth for you. In my case, exercise enclosed far more than aching ironies: I hated it but, for certain periods of my life, I would train up to 25-30 hours a week. Yet, I was still overweight.
Exercise Less, Slim Down More
See how I got to hate exercise? Yes, I was trapped in the weight loss enterprise and exercise was only another treacherous part of that trap. If someone would have told me by the time that it was possible to lose weight without much exercise, I would have laugh out loud. But when I started to do research, I figured out that latest studies state that, in fact, when it comes to the benefits and effectiveness of exercise, less is more. Great news, aren’t they? You can lose weight with little exercise 😀 By no means I’m telling that you have to stop enjoying the sea breeze in your face while cycling or walking on the beach or that you have to quit going for those adventurous walks in which you discover the beauty of the woods. Please, keep on doing it! Keep on savouring the pretty and uplifting things on this earth and feeling the power of your body 🙂 What I want you to know is that cutting-edge research shows that short- bursts, high- intensity exercises are the most effective (Talanian, Galloway, Heigenhauser, Bonen, & Spriet, 2007; Tjønna et al., 2008; Wisloff U et al., 2007). It not only improves your cardiovascular function and helps to control glucose levels (Bartels, Bourne, & Dwyer, 2010; Gaesser & Angadi, 2011; JA, NB, C, FM, & JA, 2009; Little, Safdar, Wilkin, Tarnopolsky, & Gibala, 2010; Littlea & Francoisa, 2014; Molmen-Hansen et al., 2012), but it also has demonstrated to be more efficient when it comes to burn fat and increase muscle mass (Boutcher, 2011; Gillen, Percival, Ludzki, Tarnopolsky, & Gibala, 2013). You see, you will not only enjoy a vibrant overall health but this training will also assist you in our main goal here: to lose weight without diets and/or strenuous exercise. This type of working out is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
High Intensity Interval Training
I love the way in which Jon Gabriel (author of the famous The Gabriel Method) explains the fundamental principle of HIIT; he made me understand the science behind this training method and the reasons why it is so effective with weight loss goals. The following is an extract from his book, The Gabriel Method:
Your body wants to be thin when it thinks that it must be thin in order to survive. If you were living in an environment where there were man-eating animals chasing you and every couple of days or so you had to make a run for it to escape being eaten, your body would understand that you need to be thin and fast, and that the thinner you are the safer you will be. Even having 1 kilo of excess fat could be the difference between life and death (Gabriel, 2010, p. 138)
And this is the key: when you perform short but quick, intense exercises the body interprets that you are living in such a dangerous environment and that you must be doing so in order to stay alive. Therefore, your body will think that the thinnest, the safest, and will do its best to stay thin and burn excess bodily fat.
In This Section You Will Find…
In this section, we will be dealing with the numerous possibilities that you can find out there when it comes to this type of training. You can do it anywhere and the exercises are really fun so there is not a chance you would ever get bored! 😉
Let me bring to an end this post by reminding you that, when you reach the mind-body balance that we want you to reach by reading all the information and following the advice provided in this site, you will be willing to do exercise; seriously, you will naturally want to gift your body with the amazing mental and physical benefits of movement. One day, you will tell yourself “I need to move my body”. You will have already learned to pay attention to your sensations; you will know already what your body is telling or asking for; and then, it won’t be a sacrifice anymore. But please, don’t worry if you have not reached that point yet, don’t feel frustrated, good things take time 🙂 Just start by giving yourself the opportunity to try this new way of exercising; experience and enjoy all its wonders after reading this!
Don’t forget to leave below your comments and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any doubt. I’m here to help 😉 See you!
Gabriel, J. (2010). The Gabriel Method: The Revolutionary DIET-FREE Way to Totally Transform Your Body: Simon & Schuster Australia.
Bartels, M. N., Bourne, G. W., & Dwyer, J. H. (2010). High-intensity exercise for patients in cardiac rehabilitation after myocardial infarction. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2(2), 151-155.
Boutcher, S. H. (2011). High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of Obesity, 10.
Gaesser, G. A., & Angadi, S. S. (2011). High-intensity interval training for health and fitness: can less be more? Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(6), 1540-1541. doi: 10.1152
Gillen, J. B., Percival, M. E., Ludzki, A., Tarnopolsky, M. A., & Gibala, M. J. (2013). Interval training in the fed or fasted state improves body composition and muscle oxidative capacity in overweight women. Obesity, 21(11), 2249-2255. doi: 10.1002/oby.20379
JA, B., NB, V., C, K., FM, G., & JA, C. G. T. (2009). Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. BMC Endocrine Disorders, 9(3). doi: 10.1186/1472-6823-9-3
Little, J. P., Safdar, A., Wilkin, G. P., Tarnopolsky, M. A., & Gibala, M. J. (2010). A practical model of low-volume high-intensity interval training induces mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle: potential mechanisms. The Journal of Physiology, 588(6), 1011–1022. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.181743
Littlea, J. P., & Francoisa, M. E. (2014). High-Intensity Interval Training for Improving Postprandial Hyperglycemia. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 85(4), 451-456. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2014.963474
Molmen-Hansen, H. E., Stolen, T., Tjonna, A. E., Aamot, I. L., Ekeberg, I. S., Tyldum, G. A., . . . Stoylen, A. (2012). Aerobic interval training reduces blood pressure and improves myocardial function in hypertensive patients. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 19, 151-160.
Talanian, J. L., Galloway, S. D. R., Heigenhauser, G. J. F., Bonen, A., & Spriet, L. L. (2007). Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102(4), 1439-1447. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01098.2006
Tjønna, A. E., Lee, S. J., Rognmo, Ø., Stølen, T., Bye, A., Haram, P. M., . . . Wisløff, U. (2008). Aerobic interval training vs. continuous moderate exercise as a treatment for the metabolic syndrome – “A Pilot Study”. Circulation, 118(4), 346-354. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.772822
Wisloff U, Stoylen A, Loennechen JP, Bruvold M, Rognmo O, Haram PM, . . . Skjaerpe T. (2007). Superior cardiovascular effect of aerobic interval training versus moderate continuous training in heart failure patients: a randomized study. Circulation, 115, 3086–3094.