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Health and Physical Function Improves with High Intensity Training

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This study, High Intensity Training Improves Health and Physical Function in Middle Aged Adults, seeks to determine whether HIT (high Intensity training) will improve physical function and metabolic health in untrained middle aged subjects.

Subject performed sprint training (10 × 6-second sprints with a one minute recovery between each sprint) twice a week.

The results: “Following eight weeks of HIT there was a significant improvement in aerobic capacity (8% increase in VO2 peak; p < 0.001), physical function (11%–27% respectively; p < 0.05) and a reduction in blood glucose area under the curve (6% reduction; p < 0.05). This study demonstrates for the first time the potential of HIT as a training intervention to improve skeletal muscle function and glucose clearance as we age.”

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The highest marginal return on exercise

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It is not how much exercise you can withstand that matters; it is how little exercise you can get away with doing that produces optimum results. Any additional exercise beyond that point is at best a waste of time and at worst detrimental as the body cannot adequately recover from the dose of exercise. That ought to be the starting point in deciding on the structure of an exercise program. Certainly you don’t want to waste time or go backwards. That was the philosophy of Arthur Jones when he first developed Nautilus equipment.

Who has time to spend hours in the gym for months and years on end? What good is a program that requires you to go to the gym three or more times a week for more than an hour if you are only going to stick to it for a best a couple of months. After a couple of months burnout, lack of progress, or injuries will occur, but you will still be paying monthly dues on a year’s gym membership.

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Blood Pressure Reduced with High Intensity Interval Training

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High intensity of aerobic exercise lowers blood pressure more that low intensity aerobic exercise. That has definitely been my experience. From this study,

Aerobic interval training reduces blood pressure and improves myocardial function in hypertensive patients, comes this conclusion:

“This study indicates that the blood pressure reducing effect of exercise in essential hypertension is intensity dependent. Aerobic interval training is an effective method to lower blood pressure and improve other cardiovascular risk factors.”

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The Big Fat Lie

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Ms. Teicholz’s book, "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet," will be soon published. Her WSJ article The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease offers some convincing history of why we came to accept as conventional wisdom that a saturated fat diet causes heart disease.  It seems that Dr. Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota and the leading advocate of the low fat diet used some very faulty methods to put forth his case in the early 1950s.  Those faulty methods were not scrutinized until 2002 –  too late to put that horse back in the barn - and the data was inaccurate.

The ball started rolling, Dr. Keys made the cover of Time when people
used to read it and he landed position in the fledgling American Heart
Association. They adopted his position and eventually so did the US
government.  It was based on flawed data!

What were the unintended consequences?  From the article above: