And the benefits? Hurt knees and feet, a ravenous appetite that counteracts any benefit they might be getting, and a metabolism that slows down and results in less and less benefit over time.
Why is this? Because your body desperately wants to be the same weight all the time. The truth is, the stress hormones and nutritional deprivation common in most people today makes your body think that there is a famine going on.
Our modern lives of excess food are so new that our biology really hasn’t changed from the times that we used to struggle to get enough to eat.
Then you go and run on the treadmill for 90 minutes to burn a bunch of calories and your body will clamp down even harder on those precious fat stores, lowering your metabolism and giving you cravings for those foods you should most avoid.
So, what should we do instead?
One of the answers is to change your workouts to High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. This involves doing short intense bursts of activity and alternating them with periods of rest or lighter activity. For example, a HITT workout on a treadmill might work something like this:
- 3-5 minutes of light walking.
- 30 seconds of running as fast as you can. Literally. Pretend something is chasing you and you are running for your life and by the end of the 30 seconds you should feel like you’re about to collapse.
- Walk at a light, comfortable pace for 90 seconds.
- Repeat this pattern of 30 seconds high intensity and 90 seconds of easy walking ten times.
- Finish with three minutes of light walking as a cool down.
And there you go! Finish your workout with some stretching, and maybe a nice, juicy corpse pose or a soft guided meditation. Your workout is done in under thirty minutes and you are reaping the metabolic benefits for up to 48 hours.
You have also dissolved stress hormones and made your cells more receptive to insulin, which will help your blood sugar levels and help keep your cravings under control.
As with any exercise program, it is imperative to check with your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.