The traditional belief is that highly active lifestyles lead to higher metabolism, but this knowledge is being challenged.

Sixty five subjects engaged in some form of cardio workouts twice a week on bicycles or endurance running. This is another study confirming that steady-state cardio exercises only burn calories during the activity itself.

None of these studies, which involved a total of 65 exercisers whose dietary intake was closely controlled, showed that people burned substantially more fat in the 24 hours after they exercised than on days when they didn’t exercise. Melanson says other experts in his field have been “flabbergasted” by the results.

The next study should examine the fat loss effects of Steady State Cardio (such as endurance running) versus High Intensity Interval Training (like sprinting)!

High Intensity Interval Training saves time and gives you similar benefits!

A study published in 2008 took a group of young males and had them exercise for sessions of a maximum of 15 minutes! Improving insulin action and strengthening heart function significantly decreases the risk of Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease.

The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable. This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.

How can YOU do it?

  • Three High Intensity Interval Training sessions per week
  • 4-6 sets of 30 second intervals on the bicycle at all out effort
  • Four minute recovery in between sets
  • Total time committment is less than a half hour

Take home point: Exercise can benefit your health, muscles, and bones and also burn calories and shape your body into fitness. However, it is ultimately your diet and nutrition that determine whether or not you lose weight.

One comment

  1. I’ve read a lot of articles lately stating this same fact. These cardio workouts only really burn calories while you’re working out as oppose to intense exercises that continually burn. Excellent point at the end, the diet is crucial, a combination of workout and healthy diet is always optimal for results.

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