Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #1

Cardio is One of the Best Types of Exercise

In recent years, researchers have begun to realize that conventional cardio, such as jogging, is not all it’s been cracked up to be, and that you can actually improve your health and increase fat burning by making slight modifications to your cardio routine.

The problem is that traditional cardio only works on the slow twitch muscle fibers in your red muscle, completely ignoring your white muscle super-fast twitch fibers.

“Peak 8” refers to peak exercises done once or twice a week, in which you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.

To perform these properly you will want to get very close to, if not exceed, your maximum heart rate by the last interval. Your maximum heart rate is calculated as 220 minus your age. You will need a heart rate monitor to measure this as it is nearly impossible to accurately measure your heart rate manually when it is above 150.

Researchers have found that interval cardio produces a unique metabolic response that is in large part responsible for its superior benefits. Intermittent sprinting produces high levels of chemical compounds called catecholamines, which allow more fat to be burned from under your skin and within your muscles. The resulting increase in fat oxidation is thought to drive the increased weight loss.

It is also the only type of exercise that will increase growth hormone levels. This becomes especially important after the age of 30, when growth hormones steadily decline. It is much safer and far less expensive to have your body make growth hormone naturally though Peak 8 type exercises than inject it like many athletes do to the tune of $1500 per month.

See my previous post for the introduction to Dr. Mercola's article, 12 Medical Myths Even Most Doctors Believe.