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The Bohr Effect: Why High-Intensity Training is Better Than Low-Intensity Cardio

Achieving wellness is a journey. It is a journey that LifeForceIQ will take with you, as wellness is the platform that allows you to live life with a positive and productive orientation. Why so? Well, wellness is the “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Global Wellness Day also describes wellness an “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life.” A vital part of this active process is exercise. It is something we all should be doing so we can remain healthy or in an effort to become healthier.

It is recommended that you make exercise part of your lifestyle, with a focus, primarily, on movement and resistance training, and some cardio in-between. That being said a structured exercise program is the most efficient way to ensure that you get the “vitamin of moment.” In this case there is a range of exercise programs to choose from. But between high-intensity training and low-intensity cardio, many experts still feel that high-intensity is much better for getting into excellent shape.

Why high-intensity training is better

A Very Well Fit feature on high-intensity exercise lists the benefits of high-intensity training. Among other things it can “help you burn more calories, save time with shorter workouts, and increase your fitness level.” Combined with resistance training with weights and you have a fitness regiment that will satisfy your need for an improved cellular metabolism that also prevents the muscle wasting that comes with age. But even with these benefits it is not actually scientifically recommended that you work out every day, or even every other day.

According to renowned fitness expert and Body by Science author Dr. Doug McGuff, the less is more approach is actually the way to go. But the less in this case is a workout were the aim is to cause muscle failure through slow, deliberate, correct movement. “Your goal is not simply moving a weight from point A to point B,” explains Dr. McGuff in his groundbreaking book, “but rather the inroading, or weakening, of muscle.” This approach is highly intense, but will boost your metabolism, stimulate the cardiovascular capacity of your heart and lungs, build muscular strength, and enhance endurance. Best part is that you’ll only need to do this once or twice a week.

The Bohr Effect

High-intensity training is highly effective because it enhances the Bohr Effect. The Bohr Effect refers to hemoglobin’s lower affinity for oxygen, which is caused by increased carbon dioxide pressure and reduced blood pH. In turn, this lower affinity “enhances the unloading of oxygen into tissues to meet the oxygen demand of the tissue.” In other words the Bohr Effect allows your tissues to receive all the oxygen it needs.

So, how does exercising vigorously enhance the Bohr Effect? The answer is the very same reason why athletes often train in high altitudes. When we train in a high altitude environment the ability of the body to deliver oxygen to the tissues increases in order to compensate for the lack of available atmospheric oxygen. High-intensity exercises approximate that effect by kick starting our metabolism and increasing our body temperature. Over time our revved up metabolism and high body temperature generate the same positive effects of altitude training. These physiological changes then prime our muscles to receive oxygen. Just as important said changes help blood to flow more efficiently all around the body. This freely flowing blood is oxygen-rich, and good for the different parts and muscles of the body.

Chronic illness management

There’s another thing about high-intensity training that’s rarely talked about: It’s particularly helpful for people suffering from chronic illness. And this is a growing epidemic across the globe. An article by wellness writer James Gonzales on global health levels explains how 60% of adults around the world have at least one chronic illness. That equates to millions of people all around the world. So if you suffer from chronic illness it might be about time you start considering incorporating high-intensity training into your lifestyle.

A study about HITT and chronic illness published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that high-intensity training helps in chronic illness management. In particular, patients who exercise vigorously were shown to “demonstrate improved functional capacity and quality of life without increasing medical risk.” The same study, in fact, recommends that high-intensity training “be included in the comprehensive medical management plan” of people living with chronic illnesses, particularly cardiovascular, pulmonary, and diabetes diseases.

The evidence is mounting, and cannot be dismissed: High-intensity training really is better than low-intensity cardio. That’s largely due to the Bohr Effect, and it’s time you reap its benefits, too. So, start incorporating some high-intensity training now. And you can thank us later.

Post specially produced for lifeforceiq.com
Produced by: JBattle

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