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Fit Fun Facts
LEC Fitness, LLC Publication



Is High-Intensity Training For You?

High-intensity training is HERE! You don't have to look very far today to find lots of coverage and information on one of the most popular fitness crazes out there --- high-intensity training. But what exactly is it, and is it for you? High-intensity training is essentially a program of exercising/training that is at a level more intense than the exercise intensity that you are used to. If you will notice, I said "at a level that's more intense than the exercise YOU are used to." In my opinion, this is key. Too often, I see people trying this type of exercise by following a one-size fits all canned program that they've found online, on a dvd, or in a magazine, with absolutely no view towards what's right for THEM! Not only is that not an effective way to go about training, but it can also lead to injury! Exercise intensity can actually be adjusted by manipulating one or more of several different exercise factors (e.g. resistance, speed of exercise, rest between exercises and more). Most of the high-intensity programs that I've seen work on the principle of reducing the amount of rest between exercises.

The truth is that high-intensity exercise is NOT for everyone. For example, people with health conditions, or preexisting injuries may not be good candidates for this type of training. Also, high-intensity training is most often touted as a great way to lose weight and reduce body fat, and in most instances it is. However, what gets less attention is the fact that this type of exercise is also a very challenging cardiovascular exercise and conditioner; yet another reason why it might not be right for everyone. 

So: What Do We Recommend?

First and foremost, see your healthcare provider BEFORE undertaking this type of training. Second, work with an experienced Certified Fitness professional, at least initially, to help you put together a program that is suited for you. And third, but just as important, is to listen to your body! If you feel that something is NOT right (e.g. pain), then STOP! The old adage of "no pain, no gain" is NOT a good one to follow. I've worked with a number of clients, including one physician, on post-rehab training AFTER they've become injured from approaching their training and exercise with a 'too much, too soon' type of program. So, if you're planning on undertaking this type of training, follow these three recommended steps to help avoid becoming one of the victims of 'too much, too soon.'

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Q&A:  Ask the Trainer

(In this section of our newsletter we answer fitness-related questions from you, our readers)

Q:  I've heard that eating late at night can lead to weight gain. Is this true?

A: Thanks for your question.  Research has shown that it's not the time of the day that you eat that makes a difference in gaining weight, it's the amount of food (i.e. calories) that matters most. In its publication Balancing Calories, the Centers for Disease Control state "It's the overall number of calories you eat and the calories you burn over the course of 24 hours that affects your weight."  Also, an MIT Medical publication on Late-Night Eating is quoted to say "It's the total amount of calories you eat (vs burn) in a given day that matters most, not the time of the day you eat those calories."  According to reports, the real issue with late-night eating is that often the late night eating may cause weight gain because those eating late often snack on calorie-dense foods such as chips, cookies and candy, thereby pushing them over their calorie-in versus calorie-out balance.  It's these excess calories that over time lead to weight gain.  So, if you find that you tend to eat late at night, an approach that might help to keep the weight off would be to eat healthier snacks during this time, and make sure that your are getting the proper amount of physical activity each day.

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Fitness Tip of the Month

Want to exercise regularly but can't find the time?  Try our Couch Potato Exercise Program© strategy.  We recommend taking advantage of your 'couch time' by performing an exercise or two during the commercial break of your favorite television program.  Body-weight exercises such as as push-ups, body squats or crunches can help you add exercise without fancy equipment, and in the comfort of your living room.  Interested in our Couch Potato Exercise Program?  Contact us and we'd be glad to help you.

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