3 Reasons To Increase Your Workout Intensity

3 Reasons To Increase Your Workout Intensity

Stepping up your game may help you in more ways than you think. Although any activity is better than none, turning it up a notch switches your body into a higher achieving organism.

Breaking a sweat has all sorts of advantages including detoxification, circulation, mood enhancement and more. These 3 reasons to increase your workout intensity are just a few examples of why good physical activity is so important. Learn some of the extra benefits more sweat offers and a few ideas on some exercises that may help you get there.

Get Happy

In addition to a good dose of natural pain killers, you could experience a rush of serotonin and dopamine, two brain chemicals known for lifting one’s mood. Dr Jorge Ruas, principal investigator at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, comments on a 2014 study of the effect of exercise on depression.

“Our modern, sedentary lifestyles that don’t include sufficient physical activity, might have made us more susceptible to diseases such as stress-induced depression,…Physical exercise is already prescribed as a therapy or co-therapy for mild to moderate depression. We think that our findings will help support the use of physical exercise in the prevention and treatment of depression.”

Published in the journal Cell (vol 159, issue 1), the study concluded that,

“Depression is one of the world’s leading causes of disease burden and time lived with disability and current antidepressant treatments are insufficient. By inducing exercise-mimetic changes specifically in skeletal muscle we have identified a mechanism that reduces the detrimental effects of stress and enhances the resilience to depression.

Increasing your heart rate may have you smiling a bit more when things seem blue so go that extra five minutes on the treadmill or squeeze out a few more reps on those free weight curls.

Total Recall

Timing is everything and it turns out that some studies suggest targeting your workout accordingly may improve your memory. If you are studying for a test, preparing for a power point presentation or just want to remember your day a little clearer, results from research in the Netherlands recommends vigorously exercising a few hour after working on your memory.

In the study, subjects viewed images and identified image locations on a computer screen. One group immediately exercised (35 minutes on a stationary bike) after the viewing while another group waited four hours to do so.

According to a New York Times report on the research,

“Those who exercised four hours after the test recognized and recreated the picture locations most accurately. Their brain activity was subtly different, too, showing a more consistent pattern of neural activity.”

The study was published in Current Biology (7/11/16) which concluded that,

“We found that performing exercise [] improved the retention of picture-location associations compared to the no-exercise control group. Moreover, performing exercise after a delay was associated with increased hippocampal pattern similarity for correct responses during delayed retrieval. Our results suggest that appropriately timed physical exercise can improve long-term memory and highlight the potential of exercise as an intervention in educational and clinical settings.”

So, the formula for improving your memory through exercise is the 3R’s, ‘Research, Relax, Run’.

Stop A Bug

Sweating through a strong workout may help reduce the duration of, or possibly prevent, a cold virus. A study reported by the New York Times in 2008 shows the benefits of an intense workout  killing a cold. The study was conducted by Leonard Kaminsky, an exercise physiologist and trainer, Thomas Weidner, researchers at Ball State University.

Kaminsky and Weidner found that vigorous exercise while suffering from any stage of a cold may actually reduce cold symptoms. This includes an array of responses such as the release of pain relieving endorphins to a systemic temperature rise which may kill certain cold germs.

Some Intense Workout Choices

Below are some sweat producing activities that you may have tried or might want to try. When it comes to sweating, wearing an extra layer may help you get there faster.

  • Power walk – Check your heart rate here. The higher it goes (within 120-160 bpm) the better
  • Running – If knees aren’t an issue, this is a great way to sweat it out
  • Sprint running – A slow jog and a burst sprint several times in a row is a great way to rev up
  • Track biking – Avoid stop-n-go neighborhood bike riding, use a continuous track or path
  • Rowing – This is one of the best full body, low impact cardio exercises out there
  • Drumming – Believe it or not, continuous drumming gets the body going
  • Swimming – You won’t feel the sweat swimming but your heart will get the message
  • Tennis – There is serious movement opportunity with tennis

Obviously, if you’re sweating, don’t forget to hydrate. Good electrolyte replenishers that don’t contain dyes, heavy sugars, caffeine or any other nonsense are coconut water or Emergen-C powder packs added to water.

There are many benefits of good rigorous activity. Whatever activity works for you in a thirty or sixty-minute block, three to five times per week (or more), could significantly enhance your quality of life. These 3 reasons to increase your workout intensity are just a few of the many benefits your body and mind will enjoy.