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How Long Does a Single Workout Work?

A study with mice suggests that missing a couple of workouts may not be as damaging to your overall exercise program as you think. Not only that, according to what researchers told News.am, your glucose metabolism will continue to work for up to four days after a semi-intense workout. In fact, a single bout of exercise can boost neuron activity associated with reduced appetite and higher energy burning for up to two days.

HIIT

More and more, research is showing that even a short bursts of exercise can be a boon to your health, and even decrease disease and risk of death. And, time and again this fitness research reminds us that physical activity is one of the best preventive “drugs” available, capable of improving or even reversing a number of common ailments, including mental health problems, diabetes and heart disease.

As a general rule, something is better than nothing, and one of the foundational fitness guidelines is to get regular movement throughout your waking hours. In other words, avoiding sitting as much as possible is key, as the simple act of bearing weight on your legs helps stimulate a biochemical cascade that benefits your health.

Over and beyond that, the research is quite clear on the type of exercise that is the most effective — both in terms of delivering powerful health benefits and being time-efficient — and that is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and high-intensity circuit training (HICT).

HICT involves using multiple large muscles with very little rest between sets, yielding aerobic and metabolic benefits, the latter of which may continue for up to 72 hours after the workout has been completed. HICT may lead to greater fat loss than typical aerobics or resistance training because it increases levels of catecholamines (which increase resting energy expenditure) and human growth hormone in your blood.

My favorite HIIT exercise is called the Nitric Oxide Dump. Done in four-minute workouts just three times a day, the Nitric Oxide Dump is designed to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which is actually a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health.

Hand weights aren't necessary or even recommended at first, although you can also work toward using them later if you'd like. By focusing on form and speed, you run out of oxygen at your large muscle groups at the joints. It's a new level of fitness, but form is important and only once you've mastered form should your pace increase over time.

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