The Age Of Exercise - Is It The Cure?
The fitness industry has seen a huge spike in the past couple of years with gym memberships increasing, public figures flaunting their DIY routines, huge multi-million dollar network marketing companies like Beach Body (which I love but have 0 affiliation with) coming into the limelight and an overall fondness for working out becoming central to our lives.
Last year, between gym memberships, home workout plans, diet products, and workout clothing, the sports and fitness industry made over 150 billion dollars! That's a lot of cake!
...And all for what? Masses of people are in need of an answer to why their weight continues to increase.
Let me first tell you for qualification purposes that my wife and I have studied and participated in hardcore fitness for the past 2 years learning all we can about exercise types, working out, supplements, diet, metabolism, science of fitness and more so I feel like we have a semi-professional knowledge base on the subject at least on a DIY level!
Did you know that exercise contributes only about 20-30% of your results while the other 70-80% is diet?? But diet is covered pretty thoroughly in THIS post.
How Does Exercise Cause Weight Loss
Exercise does have a cumulative effect on the body not just because it burns calories, but over time, it actually causes the body to operate better and changes the hormone production structure in the body. Bodily functions and processes can be enhanced.
When you exercise a muscle, it uses up "quick energy" stores called glycogen within the tissues of the muscle. After those store have run out, the muscle is forced to restore the energy bank by taking in more sugars from the blood stream in a complex signaling process that involves insulin triggering, fat breakdown into usable energy, sugars being released into the bloodstream, and eventually the absorption of those calories by the muscle for energy to use. This whole process has the ability to re sensitize the insulin-sugar response of glut 5 receptors on muscle cells and can even lessen diabetic tendencies.
What Type Of Exercise Is Best?
The whole point of exercising is to burn calories and the relationship between time spent and calories burned equals the effectiveness of an exercise.
Let's look at walking for a minute. It is a very low impact exercise which burns up to 415 calories per hour. Taking into consideration the recommended diet of females is 2000 calories and males 2700 but the average person nearly doubles that amount per day, it would take you nearly 10 hours of walking to burn all of your daily calories. You'd literally have to be eating while you are walking! Now of course, walking is better for you than sitting.
An important consideration when taking on any kind of workout routine is intensity level and your susceptibility or risk of injury. According to a local trusted physiotherapist that my wife sees for shin splints, nobody is exempt from the possibility of injury during intense exercise no matter how often you work out or how much you stretch before and after the workout, although these precautions can lessen your risk. It is up to you to not go past your limits and that is why every workout plan says to talk to your doctor before starting them.
The most effective workout type for maximum calorie burn vs time spent is called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It has become commonplace in the workout industry as of late due to its effectiveness. It has the ability to double your rate of calorie burn meaning that you can get the same loss as an hour of walking in 30 minutes. It always contains a high level of cardio type activity which is great for burning fat, but controversially bad for gaining muscle because of it being a catabolic process.
Not only can you increase your burn rates, but this type of workout has the ability to induce a phenomenon called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) which creates a metabolic calorie burn for up to 48 hours after working has stopped.
Since the body is very adaptable, this type of workout causes hormones to increase and adrenalin receptors to become more sensitive as well meaning an increase in your ability to work harder.
First, I want to dispelled the misconception that there is a way to magically "increase your metabolism" so that you can sit and watch tv and burn some extraordinary amount of calories compared to regular people. This is simply not true.
Metabolism is simply the rate at which your body chemically turns food sources (calories) into spent energy.
Your metabolism will naturally be higher while working out or exercising, heck even getting up to grab a drink compared to sitting. You have a base resting metabolic rate which is how many calories you burn while sitting watching tv (without eating!!). To increase metabolism is to do something that burn more than that resting rate.
The process of metabolism in the body takes calories from food, and through a complex chemical processes turns energy into heat (thermogenesis)
There are a couple ways to increase resting metabolic rate temporarily, one of which is HIIT workouts, the only other way is to use a supplement like green tea extract which contains a compound called EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). EGCG increases the rate of the thermogenesis by causing cells to heat up more when they consume the calories. It is a relatively small amount of extra energy expenditure created compared to exercise though at only 80 calories per day @ 270mg pure extract consumed.
In the end, the best way to increase metabolism is to get moving!
Weight Lifting and Anabolic vs Catabolic
In my personal opinion, and everyone who has been into health and fitness for any length of time agrees that weight lifting is an important aspect of fitness because of its ability to increase your metabolism! ...."Wait, you said you can't increase metabolism??"
Well, actually you can increase metabolism.
Take your arm as an example. With the amount of muscle on the limb, you will burn x amount of calories lifting your arm. Now, if you double the density or size of the calorie consuming muscle, you double the amount of energy burned by the same movement.
Weight lifting is an Anabolic exercise which means "to build" so it puts your body into a state of consuming in order to build muscles. Conversely, cardio exercise is a catabolic process which means "to break down". The issue is, if you only do cardio exercise, you don't just break down fat, you also break down muscle as well simultaneously. This is why weight but lifting is so prized by professional athletes and fitness people. You can build muscle while consuming calories which translate into fat loss.
Another key thing to weight lifting is the amount of total calories you can burn if you lift heavy weight (while staying safe of course). It is much higher than any other exercise type. This enhances the hormone production in your body to maximum rates and exponentially increases your results!
Form is the most important aspect of lifting weights above the number or reps or the heaviness of the weight. If you lift weight, you need to do it properly for each move to target the right muscles at the right time or else you are just wasting time and increasing your risk for injury.
Dynamic Set Training
Although form is the most important key in weight lifting, there are different "training styles" which give differing results. The best known method currently be known since testing began on the 1980's on different ways to lift weights is called Dynamic Set Training.
Over the years, body builders and fitness professionals have tried all kinds of different ways to lift weights. High reps combined with low weight, low reps with maximum weight, 3 sets, single sets, force sets, drop sets, super sets, giant sets you name it.
The best method is a combination of everything carefully put together into a useful method. This means having 3 sets, each lowering in reps while increasing in weight. Alternating different types of sets to keep the body and muscles guessing at all times. This style of training maximizes the results possible with weight lifting by far.
All of this information will help you understand fitness on a deeper level and realize the health potential of exercise.
Exercise provides the possibility to enhance your bodily functions, fitness level, flexibility, strength, hormones, and overall health.
Most people fail at sticking with it due to their own will power, but if you can stick with it, you will make a difference!
As always, I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it provided some useful knowledge to improve your life!
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