High Intensity, Low Volume Cardio

Authors of a research study conducted in Norway with collaboration from scientists in Canada and the US provide evidence to the effectiveness of shorter but more intense cardio-respiratory exercise.  Researchers had men ages 35-45 perform 3 workouts per week.  After a 10-minute warm-up, group 1 performed 1, 4-minute bout of treadmill walking or jogging (at an incline) at 90% of maximum heart rate.  Including a short cool-down, the entire workout lasted 19 minutes.  Group 2 performed the same warm-up and cool-down, but instead of performing 1, 4-minute bout, they performed 4, 4-minute bouts (still at 90% of maximum heart rate) with a 3-minute active recovery in between; the entire workout lasted 40 minutes.   Interestingly, researchers discovered that the shorter workouts (1, 4-minute interval) were just as effective as the longer workouts in improving VO2max (aerobic capacity), work economy, blood pressure, and fasting glucose.   This adds to the growing body of literature that suggests the intensity of our cardio-respiratory exercise is more important that the duration or volume of exercise when it comes to receiving these performance and health related benefits.  

Strength-Training for Women: An Interesting Myth

Most of the classic myths pertaining to strength training for females are slowly waning.  These myths include, “Strength-training will make women bulky,” and “Women should strength-train with lighter weights and do more repetitions to become toned.”  Decades of research have combated, albeit not completely eradicated, these myths.

Research on How to Exercise During Pregnancy

Authors of a study that was published in 2012 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise examined the effects of a comprehensive exercise program on previously inactive pregnant woman.  Compared with women who remained sedentary, women engaged in the exercise program improved aerobic fitness and muscular strength, delivered comparable size infants with significantly fewer cesarean deliveries, and recovered faster postpartum.  The exercising group developed no gestational hypertension and reported no injuries related to the exercise regimen.

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