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Short bursts of intense exercise 'better for weight loss'

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Bursts of high intensity interval training (Hiit) may be more effective for weight loss than longer less intense workouts, a study suggests.The research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, analysed results from 36 earlier studies.
Although all the participants lost weight, those doing Hiit saw a 28.5% greater weight loss.


The researchers cautioned that Hiit may not be suitable for everyone.
"Hiit might increase the risk of injury and impose higher cardiovascular stress," they said.

What does the study say?
Researchers from the Federal University of Goias, Brazil, analysed data from 576 men and 522 women of varying levels of fitness.Interval training was defined as cardiovascular exercise which involved repeated brief bursts of intense effort, interspersed with recovery periods. Cycling, swimming, running and boxing were included.

These workouts were compared with longer continuous moderate intensity workouts, most of which were between 30 and 45 minutes. All participants exercised for at least four weeks.Those doing interval training lost on average 1.58kg (3.48lb) compared with the 1.13kg (2.49lb) lost by those doing lower intensity workouts.

-'Fit in three minutes' claim tested
-How to do Hiit at home
-Is there a shortcut to getting fit?

Sprint interval training seemed to be particularly effective for weight loss, although researchers did caution that the wide variety of training programmes made it difficult to recommend one regime in particular.The NHS currently recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or brisk walking, every week.

'Results impressive'
Dr Niels Vollaard, a lecturer in health and exercise science at the University of Stirling, said the results were counterintuitive as most people burned more calories during longer moderate exercise.

-"There are two possible explanations," he said.
-"Firstly, Hiit may lead to greater energy expenditure after exercise - metabolism may be increased for up to a day following a Hiit session.
-"Secondly, after a Hiit session, you may be less hungry.
-"In our research, we have shown that appetite hormones are indeed affected.
-"It is, however, not easy to study whether energy intake is reduced as a result of this in the longer term when following a Hiit routine, so at the moment we are still unsure exactly what the reason is."

Michael Mosley, who was introduced to Hiit seven years ago while making the BBC Horizon documentary The Truth about Exercise, said: "In 2012, I tested three lots of 20-second high intensity workouts on an exercise bike, three times a week.

-"My insulin sensitivity improved by 24%.
-"In the programme, we again saw very impressive results with younger, unfit people.
-"The biggest problem with exercise is compensatory eating and relaxing afterwards.
-"People go on a treadmill for 30 minutes, burn around 120 calories, then lie around and reward themselves with a muffin.
-"The theory with Hiit seems to be that it suppresses your appetite and targets the visceral fat in your gut.
-"It's not the calories you burn that matter - it's what you do next."

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How To Maintain Healthy Lifestyle Against An Occupied Routine?

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"I don't have time" is one of the most common excuses heard for living an unhealthy lifestyle. When you're working full-time, it is often easier to order from a restaurant and spend the evening watching television and cooling off instead of cooking a healthy meal and hitting the gym. However, a busy lifestyle does not necessarily need to be unhealthy.

Here are a few simple tips to live a healthier life.

1. Cook one-pot meals

Cooking doesn't have to be complicated. Experiment with your microwave settings and recipes to find quick meals that can be made in under a minute like a quiche in a mug or steamed salmon. Making pasta can be as easy as putting all the ingredients together into a pot and letting them cook. Find recipes that require minimal grocery shopping and preparation.

2. Take the stairs

Elevators are definitely convenient and cannot be avoided if your office or home is on the 10th floor. To balance convenience and health, get off the elevator a floor or two below yours and climb up the remaining stairs. Obviously working up a sweat by climbing stairs at the beginning of your day at work isn't a good idea, so, time your stair climbs at the end of the day or when a shower is nearby.

3. Avoid snacking

Eat proper meals instead of mindlessly snacking through the day. Keeping a food diary can help you recognize your eating habits and rectify them. If three meals a day do not satiate your hunger, break your meals into smaller portions eaten at more frequent intervals. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped.

4. Drink plenty of water

Often we snack not because we're hungry but because the body is dehydrated. Water can also boost your energy levels and aid digestion. However, avoid filling your stomach with water before a meal to make you eat less. This can hinder your digestion process and keep your body from receiving its necessary nutrients.

5. Cut back on packaged foods

Packaged food is never really all that good for you. In most cases, it is loaded with sugar, sodium, preservatives and artificial flavouring. If you cannot avoid packaged food, pick the one with minimal ingredients.

6. Interval training

Spending an hour at the gym is not the only way to exercise. If you cannot find time for a full workout, try interval training. Get off the couch during intervals while watching your favourite soap or take a quick five-minute break from your desk to exercise. Regular exercise will also help you sleep better and make you wake up feeling refreshed.

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No Time For Exercise - 6 Hacks To Stay Fit

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"I don't have time" is one of the most common excuses heard for living an unhealthy lifestyle. When you're working at a full time job, it is often easier to order in from a restaurant and spend the evening watching television to 'cool off' instead of cooking a healthy meal and hitting the gym. However, a busy lifestyle does not necessarily need to be unhealthy. Here are a few simple tips to live a healthier life.

Cook one pot meals: Cooking doesn't have to be complicated. Experiment with your microwave settings and recipes to find quick meals that can be made in under a minute like quiche in a mug or steamed salmon. Making pasta can be as easy as putting all the ingredients in together into a pot and letting them cook. Find recipes that require minimal grocery shopping and preparation.

Take the stairs: Elevators are definitely a convenience and cannot be avoided if your office or home is on the 10th floor. To balance convenience and health, get off the elevator a floor or two below yours and climb up the remaining stairs. Obviously working up a sweat by climbing stairs at the beginning of your day at work isn't a good idea so time your stair climbs at the end of the day or when a shower is nearby.

Avoid snacking: Eat proper meals instead of mindlessly snacking through the day. Keeping a food diary can help you recognize your eating habits and rectify them. If three meals a day does not satiate your hunger, break your meals into smaller portions eaten at more frequent intervals. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped.

Drink plenty of water: Often we snack not because we're hungry but because the body is dehydrated. Water can also boost your energy levels and aid digestion. However, avoid filling your stomach with water before a meal to make you eat less. This can hinder your digestion process and keep your body from receiving its necessary nutrients.

Cut back on packaged foods: Packaged food is never really all that good for you. In most cases, it is loaded with sugar, sodium, preservatives and artificial flavouring. If you cannot avoid packaged food, pick the one with minimal ingredients.

Interval training: Spending an hour at the gym is not the only way to exercise. If you cannot find time for a full workout, try interval training. Get off the couch during intervals while watching your favourite soap or take a quick five minute break from your desk to exercise. Regular exercise will also help you sleep better and make you wake up feeling refreshed.

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Keep Your Muscles Tight With These Simple Stretches!

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Being flexible is not always about doing splits or doing some random bending. It is about achieving a level of mobility that will not hold you back from doing whatever you are able to do. Most people think that stretching or flexing your muscles and body as the first method to defend you from pain. But if stretching and flexing can be done correctly, it can lengthen one's muscles and give one relief from pains and aches. Stretching is also done to increase the functional range of one's joints and muscles. There are various ways by which one can stretch their muscles. However, the question which looms over here is which is the correct procedure and which is the wrong one.

The Wrong Vs the Right Way: Before discussing about the correct way, let us talk about the various wrong ways in which stretching can be done. The first rule is that if stretching is causing you pain or if it is hurting you, then you are probably taking it too far. A muscle needs to relax as much as possible, if it needs to stretch. If one is stretching so hard that he or she cannot relax then the muscle will not lengthen. Stretching should never be painful.

One should also avoid stretching for an insufficient length of time. Only a few seconds of stretching will not hold the therapeutic effects of stretching.

The following methods are few of the correct ways to stretch:

1. Always start with the warm muscles. Warm your muscles by doing some aerobic movement or by applying heat with the help of a warm bath.

2. After warming your muscles, monitor your level of discomfort. Let it go once you feel pain.

3. Hold any stretch for at least 30 seconds.

Stretching the Correct Muscle: There are muscles, which need to be stretched and there are muscles, which should not be. So getting to know the correct muscles to be stretched is as important as knowing the correct procedure to stretch your muscles. Every muscle, which does not hurt should not be stretched. There are different types of muscles that cause pain like stiff, tight, short muscles and long muscles. Muscles that are tight should only be subjected to stretching. Stretching muscles that are too long is not a good idea.

Using Physiotherapists: Most people who cannot determine which muscle should be stretched and which should not be should consult a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists can quickly and easily diagnose muscular issues. They will also show ways to stretch which are most effective for particular needs.

Stretching should be made a part of one's life. It is a way by which one can become their healthiest self and avoid muscular imbalances.

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Yoga Vs. Gymming- Find Out What Works Best for You

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Yoga Vs. Gymming- Find Out What Works Best for You

The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of any moderate physical activity per week for individuals aged between 18-64 years of age. Physical activities like yoga or gymming are high on the priority list of every health-conscious individual. Yoga may keep you younger, while gymming on the other hand, may help in keeping you stronger. Both these methods are loaded with equal benefits, which might make it tough for you to choose either one of them.

Read on to find out what works best for yourself.

1. If you want to lose weight…Hit the gym!

Intensive training or cardio-vascular exercises are particularly effective in shedding extra kilos as they keep your heart pumping fast, while also burning your calories. A single gymming session can be helpful in burning up to 3,500 calories in your body, which is equal to losing half a kilo of weight.
If you weigh 68-70kgs, a 30-minute yoga regime can help you burn about 85 calories, whereas if you perform a moderate-intensity exercise routine of 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer may end up burning up to 340 calories.

2. If you want to gain strength…Hit the gym!

Pull-up bars, barbells and other gym equipment are especially designed to build your physical strength. Gym training requires muscle contractions and stretching, and if you perform them regularly, your muscles contract more efficiently and for a longer time without injuring your tendons. This also helps in increasing your endurance and energy levels, while building stamina.

3. If you want to gain composure and balance…Practice yoga!

Yoga comprises of sets of meditative postures or asanas that can help in relaxing your tired muscles and mind. Unlike most exercise routines, yoga focuses more on achieving harmony of the mind, body and spirit rather than just giving you a fitter frame. Regular yoga practice can alter your body’s physical and emotional response to stress, anxiety, depression, and hypertension.

4. If you want to be flexible…Practice yoga!

Inflexibility in your muscles and connective tissues can cause poor posture in your body, resulting in various aches and pains. Yoga can increase your flexibility by loosening stiff muscles, which can eventually result in the disappearance of all bodily aches and pains. The contraction and stretching of muscles in yoga asanas help in improving the functions of your immune system as well. It also helps the lymphatic system of your body fight infections, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of toxic waste products, thereby keeping you fit and healthy.

Dr. Dr Anirudha Vaidya
Dr. Dr Anirudha Vaidya
MPTh, Neuro Physiotherapist Obesity Specialist, 7 yrs, Pune
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Dr. Prashant S Mane
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