Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Vigorous, variable, cardio safer, more effective and takes less time....

Tuesday, 9-9-2014

About 3 weeks ago, I read a study in Medical News Today that found that short fast sections of a few minute cardio routine with easier and slower rest sections in between hit a grand slam home run!

The longer in between speed cardio at a constant pace was far less effective and took three times as long to do!

Dr Sears calls his interval and variable cardio system PACE where you start easy and then gradually add more work or go faster in the intense parts and take shorter in between rests or easier pace sections as you make it Progressively more challenging.

He has found the kind of heart reserve capacity this builds to be more protective than people get who do longer and constant cardio with no rest breaks or slower paced intervals in it.

He finds it builds fitness MUCH faster.  And, best of all you get far more benefit in much shorter time periods. 

Other research found that even TWO minutes of this kind of very fast sections of cardio lowered HBA1C readings.

Master trainer Craig Ballantyne quotes studies that show 10 to 20 minutes of this kind of challenging but safe cardio also causes your body to burn more calories AFTER you stop exercising that it burns MORE calories than the slower, constant speed cardio does.  In fact, he has taken clients who were doing an hour of cardio a day with no fat loss and had them switch to 10 to 20 minutes of this kind of challenging but safe cardio just 3 times a week who then lost significant amounts of fat!

In addition, these sets of 10 to 20 minutes of this kind of challenging but safe cardio combined with eating 6 or more servings of vegetables a day and at least one piece of fruit a day is MORE protective against death and fatal heart attacks and strokes than taking blood pressure drugs for people who have blood pressure readings higher than 140 over 90 but less than 160 over 100.   (The drugs are protective for people who fail to do those things but add ZERO protection for people who do them.  This is very valuable to know for people who hate the side effects of the blood pressure drugs they have taken. (Note: for safety add the fruits and vegetables right away and then the 10 to 20 minutes of this kind of challenging but safe cardio three times a week.  After all those have been in place for at least a month or two, then talk to your doctor about stopping the drugs.  These methods also lower blood pressure for many people in that time period which can help.

Lastly, for older and fatter people the first number, the systolic pressure, and the pulse pressure, which is by how much the systolic pressure is higher than the diastolic pressure tend to go up more than the diastolic pressure does.
So anything that prevents that extra rise in systolic pressure or lowers it is very protective indeed.

So when I read the Medical News Today showing that 10 to 20 minutes of this kind of challenging but safe cardio DID lower systolic pressure AND the results and the safety were there for heart transplant patients too, I was inspired to do this post!

(Note that other studies have found even fit people benefit from a one minute gradually increasing and easy warm up.  But that the ten minutes in this study to be sure it was safe for heart transplant patients is not needed for most people.  Suppose that you do a 10 minute variable cardio routine with a one minute warm up and a one minute cool down in a total of 12 minutes. 
Someone who does a ten minute warm up and cool down will take 30 minutes!  And, it’s dramatically more doable to fit in three 12 minute sessions a week than three half hour sessions! 
Remember, you and your body ONLY benefit from sessions you actually do every week.  Session that take too long that you have to miss provide ZERO benefit!)
Here are some quotes from the Medical News Today article and the link to it.
[I did the bolding.]

“The research team compared the effects of supervised exercise sessions, three times a week for a 12-week period. After exclusions, there were 16 stable heart transplant participants who had been living with their new heart for more than 1 year, separated randomly into two groups to partake in either high-intensity interval exercise or moderate-intensity exercise.

The high-intensity interval training sessions consisted of:

10-minutes warm-up
16-minute total upright bicycle interval training with intervals of 4-, 2- and 1-min duration at >80% of peak oxygen uptake
Each interval was separated by a 2-minute active rest period at approximately 60% of peak oxygen uptake
10-minutes cool-down.

The continued moderate exercise training sessions consisted of:

10-minutes warm-up
45-minutes upright bicycle training at 60-70% of peak oxygen uptake
10-minutes cool-down.

[The higher intensity sessions took 29 minutes less each to do.  That's an hour and a half less time each week.  Further in people with their original hearts when reasonably healthy now, 1 minute warm ups and cool downs are OK separate research has found.  That means 18 minutes 3 times a week will do it!  That's MUCH easier to fit in to real lives three times a week than 47 to 65 minute sessions!]

High-intensity exercise has been deemed safe in heart transplant patients with the effect on exercise capacity and blood pressure control superior to moderate-intensity training.

The researchers observed:

Maximum oxygen uptake was increased by 17% in the group performing high-intensity interval training, compared with 10% in the moderate-intensity group.

Systolic blood pressure decreased considerably in the high-intensity group while remaining unchanged in the moderate-intensity group

Peak heart rate and heart rate reserve improved in the high-intensity group only

Heart rate recovery improved across both groups.

[This one is HUGE.  Not only does doing this kind of exercise along with eating right protect people with moderate to somewhat high blood pressure of 140 over 90 to 159 over 99 against heart attacks and strokes as well as the drugs with their obnoxious and dangerous side effects, the most common problem with older people in this range is the high systolic pressure even more than the diastolic number.  So, this means that while this kind of vigorous interval or variable cardio protects, it also reduces the higher part of the high blood pressure!]

Heart transplant patients benefit from high-intensity interval exercise
High-intensity exercise has been deemed safe in heart transplant patients, with 
the effect on exercise capacity and blood pressure control superior to 
moderate-intensity training.

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