(NaturalNews) The human body was designed for movement, and even in a sick society most people recognize the importance of exercise. Sadly, many people never get further than that realization. Too many Americans don't exercise at all, because they think it takes too much time or is too hard. After seeing too many people give up on their exercise plans after a few short months, many doctors are recommending an exercise routine from Japan called "Tabata." This method of exercise can be as short as four minutes per session and research has proven it to be very effective for people of all fitness levels.
The Tabata technique is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, a physiologist from Japan. In 1996, Tabata and his colleagues conducted a research study to look at the effect of moderate versus high intensity exercise in athletes. The test athletes were split into two groups. The first group exercised at a moderate intensity for an hour at around 70% VO2 Max. This is similar to what many people do in the gym. Running on a treadmill for an hour would be an everyday example of this type of workout. Group two exercised at around 170% VO2 Max (Very high intensity) for 20 seconds and then rested for 10 seconds before starting the next set. Group two performed 7-8 sets of this type of high intensity interval training per session. After six weeks, all of the athletes were thoroughly tested and the data was analyzed. Tabata found that group one (moderate exercise for one hour) had increased their aerobic capacity but had not increased their anaerobic capacity at all. Group two (very high intensity for four minutes) showed a greater change in aerobic capacity compared to group one as well as increasing anaerobic capacity by 28%! Tabata and his training philosophy started gaining popularity after his great success in preparing Japanese speed skaters for the Olympics. Professor Michele Olson from Auburn University recently conducted another study to look at Tabata's work. She found that this type of interval training doubles metabolism for 30 minutes after working out. She also measured calories and found that Tabata training burns five times as many calories compared to traditional cardio exercise.
How to start
Most people getting started into exercise will not be able to achieve the level of exertion used in the study without passing out, but it is easy to create a "Tabata style" workout at home using little or no expensive equipment. The key to this type of exercise is putting forth maximum effort during each 20-second period of work. Timing the intervals can be done with a digital watch or with free smartphone apps. Some people may find that they are not able to complete all eight intervals while putting out a maximum effort. These individuals will still receive benefit from the work out and will soon develop the endurance to go eight rounds if they stay consistent. Once again, the formula is 8 sets consisting of 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. People interested in the Tabata work out should exercise three times per week for best results. Doing Tabata three times per week means only 12 minutes of exercise each week! This is the perfect way for busy Americans to add exercise into their busy schedules. Here are some examples of functional movements that can be used in Tabata style workouts:
•Kettle Bell Swings
Warning: Do not attempt to start any exercise program without first consulting a healthcare professional. The workout techniques described in this article are high intensity and should not be performed by people with certain health conditions.
About the author: Kyle Price is a passionate and energetic leader in the field of health and wellness. He loves working with active young families and youth sports. He has a vision to change the dismal healthcare climate in America by promoting personal responsibility and educating people on making healthy lifestyle choices. His personal hobbies include: Scuba Diving, Motorcycles, Ultra light Backpacking, Mountain Biking, and public speaking.
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