These days there is literally a fitness routine out there to suit everyone and lots of variations in exercise options. Yet knowing which is best for us is paramount; health speaks to kris ng’ang’a, fitness manager of personal training and group exercises at body & soul health club to learn more…
THE FACTS EXPLAINED
Ng’ang’a explains that there is a myth circulating that low intensity workouts are better than high intensity workouts. “The reason being is that low intensity workouts allow the body to switch its energy form from using carbohydrates for fuel and ignites fat to be used as fuel,” he says, therefore you lose more of fat as opposed to burn down calories from carbohydrates which could easily be replenished in the next meal. And while this is partly true, he tells that for the carbs to fat switch to happen, one must exercise at a low intensity for a period that is not less than 60 minutes in order to ignite the change; thereby spending more time doing a slow workout. On the other hand, Ng’ang’a points out that high intensity workouts demand a lot of fuel. “Primarily this fuel comes from carbohydrates,” he says but due to the intensity and impact these workouts have on the cardiovascular system and the whole body at large, a huge amount of that fuel comes from fat too.
He suggests therefore you could go for a walk, which is low intensity for 90 minutes and burn roughly 500 calories of which 350 will be from fat.Or alternatively, you could attend a circuit training class, Tabatha , cross fit or running for 45 minutes and burn 800 calories of which 300 will be carbohydrate and 200 fats. “Keep in mind that studies have shown that High intensity workouts can increase the metabolism to up to 14 hours after the workout,” he says thereby allowing you to burn more calories at rest.
WHICH SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
Low Intensity workout are recommended for senior citizens, special population, beginners, people recovering from injuries and seasoned athletes for periods of recovery after series of H.T workouts.
High Intensity workouts are recommended for people who demand change, who are time constrained, whose schedules leave little room for exercise and for all fitness enthusiasts seeking to improve their Cardiovascular and overall fitness performance.
Ng’ang’a personally recommends a combination of both if optimal fat lose and peak fitness is to be achieved. “Preferably using as little equipment as possible; an example would be to do 4 days of High Intensity followed by a Low Intensity day for recovery,” he says.
FOR KEY EXERCISES
Bend down to a squat position and rocket up in a high jump then land back on a squat position, without resting repeat again until the per stated repetitions is achieved. Do 20 to 50 reps.
From the standing position, drop down to a push up position then stand up fast and jump. Do 20 to 50 reps.
Try to lay down with your back without the help of your hands, and stand up without the help of your hands. Beginners can use hands, intermediate use hands only when getting up. Do 20 to 50 reps.
Cross box jumps
Have a step beside you at your preferred height. Jump over from the side without facing the step and jump back. Count that as one. Do 20 to 50 reps. Aim to do these exercises 3 to 4 times in a week. Or on alternate days.
In order to raise up the heart rate to above 70 percent and maintain it for most of the part in a workout, the large muscles must be consistently engaged, especially the Glutes (buttocks) and quads (thighs). These exercises target majorly the above mentioned exercise.