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Ten minutes of burst training can burn fat for an additional 36 hours! That’s right! The 10 minutes of exercise I do today can help burn fat for the next day and a half. I like that. And it’s something we all can do, even if we are sitting in a wheelchair. That’s why I want to talk about it today.
So what is a “burst”? It’s alternating between exercising vigorously for 30-60 seconds and then resting for 2-3 minutes. Repeat this until you have done 3 or 4 “bursts” of exercises. You can do this while walking, going up stairs, sprinting on a bicycle or treadmill. If you are walking to the mailbox, walk as quickly as you can for 30 seconds and then slow down to allow your heart rate to return to normal.
Or you can do this if you are only able to move your arms! If you are sitting in your wheelchair, “punch, punch, punch” with your fists for 30 seconds. You can punch up; you can punch out, punch sideways, punch down (if you are careful not to hit your wheelchair or anyone sitting nearby!) Then rest for a minute before doing it again. If you are unable to walk but can lift your legs, then alternate lifting them for 30 seconds before resting for 2-3 minutes.
Why is burst training helpful? This type of exercise helps your body burn fat long after you have finished exercising. Remember to rest between the bursts. Your body, which started burning sugar during your exercise, will then use fat as its primary source of energy for the next 36 or more hours.
The problem with our typical American diet is we eat far more energy as sugar and fat than we are able to use up in our normal daily activities. And we’ve been gaining weight until as a nation we are obese. Yes, obese. The CDC reports 36% of Americans are obese and 17% of American children are obese.
How often should I do this burst training? Do this at least 3 times a week. But if you add a couple more times a week, the effectiveness will overlap and help you even more! You can do these bursts of exercise during a commercial break while watching your favorite TV program. Or when you first get up in the morning, take a few minutes to do these 10 minutes of bursts.
But don’t do burst training 7 days a week! Research has shown that your body does not burn fat any better by doing this exercise more than 6 days a week. Nor do you need to do the burst for longer than 60 seconds. More is not better!
Many of us begin to develop a fatty liver and pancreas long before we ever have any symptoms on the outside. If we are obese or slender, doing these “bursts” of exercise can help rid our bodies of this hidden fat which leads to diseases, such as diabetes.
Commit today to becoming more active by doing 10 minutes of burst training at least 3 times a week.