High Intensity Physical Exercise

Cardiovascular training or physical exercise is a very important part of any fitness training program. You may be undergoing this training to build muscle, to train as an athlete or just to remain fit and healthy. There are many forms of this training and they can be either lower in intensity and have to be carried out for longer periods of time, or very intense and last for shorter periods of time, during which your heart rate will speed up.

A study made by Adamson, et al. have shown that high intensity physical exercise can make for a big boost to health. The great advantage of this form of exercise is that it requires very little time to carry out and fits in easily into the most crowded of schedules. Workouts can be carried out in just five minutes and this allows you to get into shape very quickly. Most such high intensity workouts are alternated with periods of low intensity action or even with remaining completely idle.

High intensity physical exercise has been proven to be three times faster in achieving the same results compared to endurance training, where low intensity workouts are conducted for long periods of time. While endurance training burns calories while you are exercising, the intense form of training acts as a stimulant to the repair mechanisms of the body and has it burning calories, even for a day after the exercise. You do not need any expensive equipment for this form of exercise and can go in for activities like running or jumping, as long as you do it very intensely for short periods of time, till the heart rate is sufficiently increased.

There are considerations before an individual can engage on any physical activity. According to The New York Times,anyone over 40 years old, whether or not they are at risk for heart disease, should have a complete physical examination before starting or intensifying an exercise program. Some doctors use a questionnaire for people over 40 to help determine whether they require such an examination. The questions they use are as follows:

  • Has any doctor previously recommended medically supervised activity because of a heart condition?
  • Does physical activity bring on chest pain?
  • Has chest pain occurred during the previous month?
  • Does the person faint or fall over from dizziness?
  • Does bone or joint pain intensify during or after exercise?
  • Has medication been prescribed for hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart problems?
  • Is the person aware of, or has a doctor suggested, any physical reason for not exercising without medical supervision?

Those who answer "yes" to any of the above questions should have a complete medical examination before developing an exercise program.

It is best to get medical advice before going in for such training or any physical activity, to rule out any possible problems that will occur (Merck Manuals). You medical adviser will tell you the best heart rate to achieve, and it is very easy to monitor this either with equipment worn while exercising, or just taking your pulse. After a time your body itself will tell you whether you are doing it right.

High intensity physical exercise helps you to lose weight from just the right places. The increased calorie burn for longer periods ensures that the body burns up fat deposits, instead of just promoting loss of muscles. You will notice that marathon runners have much stockier and muscle bound bodies, while sprinters have lean bodies and look powerfully built. This is the difference caused by slower endurance training that marathoners undergo and the high intensity involved in sprinting.

Below is a list of some of the high intensity physical exercises:

- Burpees

- Mountain climbers

- Jumping jacks

- Push-ups

- Lunge jumps

- Walk-outs (Inch worms)

- Box jumps

- Traveling side lunges

- Dips

- Speed skaters (Lateral jumps)

- Plyo push-up

- Planks

- Sprint

One great advantage of high intensity physical training to maintain good health is that it takes very little time. You can fit it easily into the busiest of schedules, as long as you make up your mind that you are going to do it. This also acts like a very good motivator, and the glow that can come to the body from the high intensity workouts is very invigorating. To wrap things up, here are the benefits of high intensity physical exercise:

- It saves a lot of your time , perfect for people with busy schedules.

- It is undeniably good for the heart. However, consult a physician first about the physical activity before you start doing it.

- It burns more fat.

- You don't have to worry about not having equipment. You can do it without any equipment at all.

- Your muscles will be enhanced. Thus, you're losing weight, not muscle.

- You can do it anywhere.

- This is a challenging exercise. It will not bore you like any other exercises out there.

Keep your training schedules simple, and keep varying them so that there is no monotony. Monitor the results and you will be surprised as to how quickly you can reach your desired goals.


TEDx Talks (February 25, 2014)High intensity physical exercise will boost your health: Øivind Rognmo at TEDx Trondheim. Retrieved on January 12, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw_4hTK1_ek

Adamson, et al. (May 12, 2014) High Intensity Training Improves Health and Physical Function in Middle Aged Adults. Retrieved on January 12, 2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC408561...

Reviewed by Johnston, T. (September 2014)Starting an Exercise Program. Retrieved on January 12, 2015 from http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/fundamentals/exer...

Featured in The New York Times, Copyright of A.D.A.M.(6/7/2013) Exercise's Effects on the Heart. Retrieved on January 12, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/specialtopic/...

Disclaimer: All of the information stated here is not intended to replace any professional advice of a fitness trainer, physician, dietitian, etc.