Are you one of the many people who start a new exercise program, but after a few weeks, don’t notice results? If so, you are not alone, and today we give you an idea to improve the situation.
About 15 years ago, exercise studies showed that not everyone became fitter after exercise programs. While most people improved significantly after a serious exercise program, some people, who followed the same program, did not, and a few even showed poorer fitness.
Why some do not respond
The people who did not obtain good fitness results (called “non-responders”) could be old or young, men or women, or of any race. None of this mattered. What seemed to make the difference was a person’s genetics. Non-responders seemed to run in families. Some people seemed genetically programmed to respond well to certain types of exercises, and others not.
Help for non-responders
Canadian researchers just published a study in December 2016 that should help exercise non-responders. The basic idea of the study was to see if people who did not respond to one type of exercise program might do well with another program, and their results were encouraging.
The researchers recruited 21 healthy men and women who were studied before and after they completed two different types of exercise programs. One type was a traditional aerobic program of a stationary bike for 30 minutes, 4 times a week, for three weeks. The other program was a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) consisting of eight 20-second intervals of very difficult pedaling followed by 10 seconds of rest. These sessions were brief but very strenuous.
All the volunteers had their fitness measured (using VO2 max) before and after each 3-week training program. And all the subjects completed both types of exercise programs—the traditional training and the HIIT training—separated by a 3-month period. In this way, the study could see if some people who do not respond to one program, might respond well to the other.
The results: 1 out of 3 non-responders
The results showed that there were wide differences in how the volunteers responded. For each program, about 1/3 of the subjects were non-responders. That is, about 1/3 of the subjects did not improve their fitness after either the traditional training or the HIIT.
The good news
The encouraging result was that everyone had a good fitness response to at least one of the programs. The ones who did not respond to the traditional program did well with the HIIT program, and vice-versa.
If you are a non-responder
The study suggests that if, after a few weeks or a month or so, you don’t seem to become more physically fit from one type of exercise, try another. For example, if you tried a traditional aerobic program of, say, brisk walking and don’t feel better, you might try a HIIT program. A simple way to do this is to sprint up a few flights of stairs then walk down, and repeat a few times (also, see our articles on HIIT for another suggestion).
Before you start any exercise program, especially any type of HIIT training, check with your doctor first if you have been sedentary or have any questions about your heart or physical condition.
In our next post we will discuss a simple way to check your fitness, to help you know if you are responding well to a certain type of exercise.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)