Archive for October, 2014
H.I.I.T. describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of less intense activity or even complete rest (alternating between work and rest). This can take many shapes and forms from running one minute on then walking for 2 minutes off (repeating for a set time no longer than 20 minutes).
A popular form of H.I.I.T is called a Tabata; loved by researchers, fitness pros and enthusiasts for its simplicity and unparalleled fat burning ability. You simply perform a single exercise for 20 seconds on and then rest for 10 seconds off repeating 8 times for 4 minutes (then repeat the same sequence with 2 other exercises for a total workout of 12 minutes; you can do more or less depending on your time and fitness level).
H.I.I.T. is also only performed usually every other day, but does not replace general daily activities such as walking.
The key to this type of short and efficient exercise is the intensity you put behind it. You will need to push yourself to the highest level you feel comfortable; aiming for an 8 out of 10 on your own personal level of perceived exhaustion. For some, this may start with short bursts of power walking alternating with complete rest or walking at a slower pace, or if choosing body weighted exercises, modifying the exercise to what you can perform in 30 seconds i.e. a push up can be modified to be done against the wall to begin and progressed only after you feel that you have reached your limit in the number of reps performed in the 30 seconds and you need a greater challenge.
Here are our top 8 reasons why we love High Intensity Interval Training:
1. Less is more, way more!!!!
H.I.I.T. is a super-efficient way to be active in this fast-paced modern lifestyle and can be done in any amount of time available and doesn’t require a lot of skill. The American College of Sports Medicine (2013, 17:3) studied the effect of H.I.I.T. looking for maximum results with minimal investment and found that this could be achieved in as little as 7 minutes a day consisting of 12 exercises using only body weight, a chair and a wall, working for 30sec and resting for 10sec. This type of exercise achieves more progress than slogging it out for an hour of cardio (i.e. running or cycling).
The 2011 ACSM study found that in just 2 weeks H.I.I.T increased aerobic capacity as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training, showing the benefits of fitness are not solely gained through cardiovascular exercise (i.e. being at the gym for over an hour).
2. Burns more fat
High intensity is very intense meaning the body has to expend much more energy in repair due to the greater damage caused during the exercise. This means burn more in less time as the body’s repair system stays alleviated for up to 24-72 hours in some cases, compared to steady state exercise which may only stay alleviated for an hour after exercise completion. Also, while spot reduction may be a myth in cardio circles, H.I.I.T. actually torches visceral (belly) fat due to an increased release of hormone sensitive lipases during the recovery, not only shrinking your waist line but also decreasing the amount of fat around your vital organs.
3. Improves the heart
Most people are not used to pushing themselves into their anaerobic zone (i.e. sprinting), which is actually great for the heart! Recent research shows that the benefits of cardio fitness (i.e. running) can be achieved more easily with H.I.I.T. (Helgerud et al. 2007; Wisloff, Ellingsen & Kemi 2009).
This is because H.I.I.T. recruits all three types of skeletal muscle fibres for maximum effort (though recruiting more of the anaerobic fast twitch fibres); endurance training which uses the aerobic system, only recruits slow/medium twitch muscle fibres. This is demonstrated in the 2006 study published by the Journal of Physiology where they found that after 8 weeks of H.I.I.T. subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study while maintaining the same pace.
4. No gym membership required!
Walking, running, bicycling, jump rope or doing body-weighted exercises (squats, lunges, push ups, high knees) are great exercises that gets your heart rate up without requiring gym equipment to get results, just you and your commitment to make it happen. It can be done in your home, the yard or the park. In fact trying to incorporate dumbbells/weights can actually be detrimental to your exercise as it takes the focus away from getting your heart rate up.
5. HIIT training loses fat not muscle
Steady state cardio (i.e. running) has a catabolic effect due the increased release of cortisol breaking down muscle for amino acids to use as fuel; makes it harder for you to lose weight because muscle burns fat. The focus should be on increasing muscle mass to increase your basal metabolic rate BMR so that you are burning more calories at rest.
H.I.I.T. preserves muscle mass, as glucose is used as the primary fuel over amino acids or fat and fat is recruited after exercise as the recovery fuel. Making H.I.I.T. a triple threat improving your glucose sensitivity, preserving muscle mass and torching unwanted fat making the body a lean mean machine.
6. Increased Metabolism, Immune system and Anti-Aging ability
Because of the extra energy expended for repair, your metabolic rate will go up sharply after exercise and gradually decline to normal levels after a day or two; which is prefect as you only want to do H.I.I.T. every other day.
H.I.I.T stimulates the production of human growth hormone by up to 450% during the first 24 hours after you finish your workout; this is fantastic as it is responsible for increasing your metabolism while also improving your immune system and slows the aging process by keeping the cells younger and more responsive.
H.I.I.T. also triggers mitochondrial biogenesis which is the formation of new mitochondria (energy powerhouse of the cell), the more mitochondria you have the greater advantage you have in decelerating the aging process, increasing your energy because you can hold more oxygen.
7. Effects on Cortisol
Traditional cardio (i.e. running/gym) exercise raises cortisol levels to break down muscle for amino acids, this is not only catabolic as mentioned above but also has the effect of increasing your appetite and promoting fat storage in the body; as well as slowing down and inhibiting exercise recovery. Whereas H.I.I.T. sharply decreases cortisol due to its intense and explosive nature, utilizing glucose for fuel and then fat for recovery. Physiologically in the body this means a reduction in inflammation and switches the body’s switch from fat storage to fat burning and in turn improves insulin sensitivity by 46-58% for those with type II diabetes and 23-33% for non-diabetic.
8. Easy to do
Because it is short and sweet it is easier to maintain and push yourself to work hard for the whole work out time; because it is scored on your own level of exertion as you improve it is up to you to keep pushing yourself to the next level.
Bonus: Stops burn out and give you your energy back
Great for those who tend to towards pushing themselves to adrenal fatigue…or who over-do it…. Thinking they need to go to the gym 7 hours a week to get slim.
This type of exercise doesn’t require a lot of stamina you go as hard or as easy as you like ad still gain fitness and lose weight.
7 Minute Workout (12 exercises 30:10)
Below is the simple 7 minute workout that the BePure Team use on a daily basis (thank you NY Times)
What you will need:
- Timer/Stop Watch (gym boss interval timer app); 30 seconds work: 10 seconds rest
- Wall Space
- Bench or Step
- Clothes you don’t mind getting sweaty in
- Don’t take it too seriously you can only get better
- Do 30 Seconds of each exercise with a 10 seconds rest
Note: Alternate your legs on lunges and step up and alternating sides if doing the push up rotations and side planks.
We decided to change exercise 11. to Mountain Climber and 12. to Bridge (see video for demonstration) to make it easier for those just developing the practice and core strength.
Click here to watch H.I.I.T Demonstration Video
Often when people hear the world calcium they think ‘bone’ which is a fair assumption as it plays an important role in providing strength and rigidity to skeletal bone and teeth. Bone is formed through two processes; the first process referred to as primary mineralisation, collagen fibres are laid down with additional compounds to form a base organic matrix which is then impregnated with the infamous calcium and phosphate salts. Secondary mineralisation happens throughout our lifetime and provides strength and density to the bones. It is dependent on calcium, phosphate and vitamin D, in addition to other organic substances rarely mentioned. This view on bone formation has narrowly skewed our opinion of calcium and vitamin D, giving it an unjust hierarchy as the solution to stronger bones.
Without a doubt calcium is a key player in building bones, but the question is: do we really need to supplement with more calcium when calcium is so rigorously controlled in the body? Calcium is so essential that if your blood level falls to low you will die from an electrolyte imbalance. For this reason the body has evolved sophisticated mechanisms to regulate against a perception of deficiency and also why nature has developed essential nutrients vitamin K2, A, D and boron to ensure that the calcium we do ingest is properly utilised.
Calcium in BePure One
BePure One contains 25% of the daily calcium allowance to supplement for people on a dairy free or low calcium diet, ensuring that everyone is getting the optimal amount of calcium each day. We believe that you can get enough calcium from good quality food sources such as; leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds (especially tahini), sardines, salmon and molasses and for those that can tolerate raw dairy, milk, yoghurt and cheese are phenomenal sources of calcium. One study of a paleolithic diet (which is dairy free), found that people ate on average over 2000-3000mg of calcium a day which is over twice the suggested optimal nutritional allowance showing that calcium is one of the few nutrients we can get enough of from our diet. What might surprise you as mentioned above is that calcium is not the only component when it comes to bone health and that without the essential nutrients of vitamin K2, vitamin D, and vitamin A and boron, regulation of calcium metabolism would be greatly impaired, negatively impacting our bone density.
Super Vitamin K2 and it’s interaction with vitamin D & calcium
The role of super vitamin K2 (menaquinone) when taken alongside vitamin D completes what is known as the calcium cycle. This makes sure that calcium is directed to the right places and held there i.e. skeletal bone and teeth. Without K2, excess calcium is stored in the soft tissues of the body contributing to arterial calcification and arthritis. K2 does this by activating the protein called osteocalcin, which attracts calcium into the bones and teeth and activates second mineralisation. K2 also activates the protein MGP (Matrix Gla Protein) which sweeps calcium out of the soft tissues such as the arteries and veins where it is not needed; Dr Cees Vermeer, one of the world’s top researchers in the field of vitamin K outlines that people with the highest intakes of K2 have much lower rates of arterial calcification and coronary heart disease. According to Dr. Cees Vermeer nearly everyone is deficient in vitamin K2 in this day and age, though the French and other European countries seem to be the exception to this rule. Nutritionist Kate Rheume-bleue in her book “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox” explains that the lower rate of cardiovascular disease in France is due to the high levels of vitamin K2 in their diet. K2 is found in abundance in organ meats, raw fermented cheeses and egg yolks which are foods eaten abundantly in the French culture. These foods literally supply the single most important nutrient in the protection of the arteries and secondary bone mineralisation. The “French Paradox” is not really a paradox at all, just good quality nutrition. To be getting adequate amounts of K2 from your diet you would have to eating lots of fermented foods; fermented natto (in BePure One) has by far the highest levels of K2 and needs to be replaced daily as vitamin K2 is not stored in the body and unlike vitamin K1 is not recycled. BePure One is also the only multivitamin and mineral supplement that we are aware of that has fermented vitamin K2 in it.
As mentioned before, calcium metabolism would not be complete without all the components working together and this involves the synergistic role of Vitamin A working in conjunction with vitamin D to make K2, dependent proteins essential to complete the actions carried out by these specific proteins. Vitamin A is also important in the excretion of excess calcium via urine once K2 has swept it out of the soft tissue.
Boron, once an untalked about mineral, is getting a lot more popularity, especially in New Zealand where we are boron deficient; BePure One supplies 2.5mg per serving. Boron is an essential co-factor in secondary bone remineralisation working synergistically with collagen, calcium and phosphate salts. Without this vital mineral you cannot lay down bone. Boron also is vital for bone health as it activates vitamin D needed to make use of both calcium and magnesium and stabilises and extends the half-life of vitamin D and oestrogen (essential for menopausal women who see a rapid reduction in oestrogen after menopause, oestrogen playing an important role in bone health).
Take home message:
– Calcium is one of the few nutrients that we can get enough of through our diet
– BePure One supplies enough calcium for those dairy intolerant or on a low calcium diet
– We recommending getting your calcium through nutrient dense foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds (especially tahini),
sardines, salmon and molasses and for those that can tolerate raw dairy, milk, yoghurt and cheese are phenomenal sources of calcium
– Vitamin K2, vitamin D, vitamin A and Boron are essential for ensuring healthy bones for a lifetime.
– But don’t worry, BePure One supplies all these nutrients at the daily suggested optimal allowance ensuring against these deficiencies.