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Want to Burn More Fat During Exercise? Take a Break

July 20, 2007 | 153,931 views
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Allowing time for a rest period during your workout burns more fat than exercising for one continuous session, according to a Japanese study that could change the way we look at exercise.

The unprecedented study compared the workout sessions of seven healthy men with an average age of 25. Their respiratory gas and heart rate were monitored, and blood samples taken, while they performed the following scenarios:
  • A 60-minute workout on a cycling machine, followed by a 60-minute rest period (single)
  • Two 30-minute workouts on a cycling machine with a 20-minute rest in between, and a 60-minute recovery period at the end (repeated)
  • A 60-minute rest period (for control purposes)
It was found that the participants had a greater amount of fat breakdown, or lipolysis, during the repeated session than the single session.

Meanwhile, the repeated trial caused a greater increase in free fatty acids and glycerol, which are released when stored fat is burned, than did the single trial. Also during the repeated session, levels of epinephrine increased and levels of insulin decreased much more than during the single session -- a combination that may have further contributed to fat breakdown.

Current recommendations by The American College of Sports Medicine to exercise for a duration of 45 to 60 minutes may therefore not be the most effective, the researchers say. Splitting up a longer exercise session with a rest period may be more beneficial, helping people to better manage and control their weight.

Journal of Applied Physiology 102(6):2158-64 June 2007

Science Blog July 18, 2007

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The evidence continues to mount that shorter bursts of activity with rest periods in between is one of the most effective ways to exercise. This alternating technique, known as interval training or high-intensity interval training, has been around for decades but is experiencing newfound popularity as its benefits are publicized.

This most recent study confirmed that interval training results in more fat burned -- even when the session was not done at an extremely high intensity -- and a study earlier this year found that it can improve your cardiovascular fitness and your body’s ability to burn fat.

During my college years, and about 15 years after that, I used to do interval training, but stopped it and just did endurance training since I haven't regularly competed for 15 years. I had no idea that the interval training had so many other benefits.

Now however, as the benefits of interval training keep pouring in,  I have been reawakened to the importance of short bursts of activity done at a very high intensity to reach your optimum level of fitness. Therefore, I now incorporate interval training (sprints) with endurance cardio training (running), pull-ups, dips and singles tennis (when I can find someone to join me!) You certainly don't have to run to achieve these benefits, and can receive similar effects using properly supervised weight training.

I believe that incorporating interval training into your exercise routine will be a welcome relief for most, particularly those who dread hour-long cardio workouts.

Although interval training requires intense periods of exercise (more intense than you may have normally done), the session is broken up with periods of rest, so it really goes by much faster yet produces excellent results.  This technique should help just about everyone who uses it;  just be sure to start out at your own pace.

So remember, along with some endurance cardio training, be sure you are also incorporating interval-type training and strength training into your exercise routine.  As with many things in life, when it comes to exercise, having some variety built in will help you to get the most comprehensive results for your mind and body.

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