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Best Exercise - High Intensity Interval Training & Low Level Activities

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The just when I wanted to add something to it. Starting a new one.

See also Good Things thread, section on exercise at http://www.acne.org/...p...t&p=2661867 & Old thread: http://www.acne.org/...se-t275783.html Go there. Primarily a discussion of Mark's Daily Apple Primal workouts, Interval training and similar programs. Archived.

Physical activity is the best thing you can do for your blood sugar and many other health factors which affect acne. But certain types of physical activity can worsen acne and cause other harm, other types are beneficial and absolutely essential.

Prolonged intense workouts like running 5 miles or more or hour long workouts which are actually bad for you causing oxidative stress and inflammation. And is mostly wasted effort as it is fueled by the carbs you just ate, and your muscle, not body fat. (However, what is too intense and too prolonged might vary from person to person.)

Also, you need to be active, as in not sedentary, Every Day. Working out 3 days a week is not enough. Especially if you, like most, spend the rest of your days avoiding walking anywhere, climbing any stairs or avoiding any physical labor. A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be just as big a factor in the development of diabetes as obesity and diet. So is sleep, btw. And by now, we should all know the relationship between insulin and hormones and inflammation, and therefore, acne.

Good Exercise

The best exercise is whatever you enjoy and will do often. Also, you NEED to move around a lot all day everyday. Don't spend your day avoiding walking and stairs. Get up from the desk (or sofa) often. Park at distant parking spaces, do chores, dance, walk, play with your pets/kids, play a sport... Don't drive to places you can walk, bike, roller blade, etc. to. For example, I throw the toy for the dog & then race him to get it.

-Regular (daily) low to moderate physical activity is anti-inflammatory. Links to studies in the Anti-Inflammation section.

-Short bursts of very intensive activity is good for blood sugar: interval training such as sprinting, stairs, or hills. Or weight/resistance training. Any short bursts of intense exercise will help blood sugar, so take the stairs!! Many sports activities and hobbies would qualify as well.

-Short bursts of very intensive activity also stimulates the release of HGH and builds muscle. Anti-Aging.

-Cells in muscles pull glucose out of the blood stream. Increases insulin sensitivity.

-Regular, daily, low to moderate physical activity helps with fat metabolism.

And of course, low to moderate physical activity combined with brief intense exertion is good for stress and adrenal health. the lymph system and circulation therefore the immune system, sleep, etc. (Chronic cardio or hour long weightlifting elevates cortisol and burns muscle for fuel so is mostly a waste of effort, and is inflammatory and causes oxidative stress)

Same Benefits, Less Time

Short Interval workouts can offer the same fitness benefits compared with traditional endurance training and in much less time. So, in summary, chronic cardio is mostly wasted effort that requires you to consume carbs to fuel and burns little fat. See the below articles which include studies that demonstrated the same or better results in less time as compared to traditional 30 minute or more cardio workouts like jogging and machines.



Mercola's Peak 8 interval 20 minute workout: http://www.acne.org/...p...t&p=3071412

From Mark Sisson at http://www.marksdail...eprint-fitness/:


Case against cardio: http://www.marksdail...against-cardio/

The benefits of low level aerobic work (walking, hiking, cycling, swimming):

- increases capillary network (blood vessels that supply the muscle cells with fuel and oxygen)

- increases muscle mitochondria

- increases production of fat-burning and fat-transporting enzymes

- more fun, because you can talk with a partner while doing it

The benefits of interval training (sprinting in short intense bursts)

- increases muscle fiber strength

- increases aerobic capacity (work ability)

- increases muscle mitochondria (the main energy production center in muscle)

- increases insulin sensitivity

- increases natural growth hormone production

The costs of chronic (repetitious) mid- and high-level aerobic work

- requires large amounts of dietary carbohydrates (SUGAR)

- decreases efficient fat metabolism

- increases stress hormone cortisol

- increases systemic inflammation

- increases oxidative damage (free radical production)

- boring!


'real muscle growth will come from the short anaerobic bursts like sprints, intervals or weight-training'

Edited by alternativista
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Link to Wikipedia entry on High Intensity Interval training HIIT, including links to studies demonstrating how much more effective this method is:


Link directly to Mark's Daily Apple archived Workouts of the Week aka WOWs. New ones added frequently.


Note that some of them are posted by blog participants and may be too advanced for some. Others, nearly anyone should be able to do.

Great example: Do a 50 yard/meter sprint, crawl half way back (good for shoulders and more) then stand up and do walking lunges the rest of the way, repeat the sequence.

Also, if you download the primal fitness e-book, he has variations for any ability level of each of key exercises: pull ups, push ups, etc that everyone should be able to do. Not that they need to be part of your regular workout because of the boredom (not to mention the isolation of muscles), just things you should be able to do. Do them once a month or so as a test of your progress.


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Great post! About running, though, I find that it helps my skin rather than hurts it. Plus, it's great for reducing stress. I just make sure I wipe the sweat off my face afterwards.

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And here's another excerpt, for quicker reference or for those that won't click on the previously provided links:


Humans, like all mammals, evolved two primary energy systems that powered the skeletal muscles of our hunter-gatherer ancestors 40,000 years ago and that would keep us all well-powered the same way today, if we weren’t so bent on circumventing them with our ill-fated (literally) lifestyle choices.

The first energy system relied heavily on the slow burning of fats, keeping us fueled while we were at rest or sleeping, yet also allowing for continuous or intermittent low levels of aerobic activity (think of our ancestors walking across the savannah for hours foraging for roots, shoots, berries, grubs, insects and the occasional small animal). It makes sense. Fats are very efficient fuels that are stored easily in the fat cells and burn easily and cleanly when lots of oxygen is present (as when we are breathing normally). Even if there’s no food in the immediate area, a well-trained fat-burning hunter-gatherer could continue walking and foraging for days without compromising his or her health or efficiency.

The second major energy system we developed through evolution was an ATP-fueled system that allowed for intense loads of work to be done in very brief bursts (think of our hunter-gatherer ancestors sprinting to the safety of a tree to avoid being eaten by a lion). ATP is always sitting right there within the muscle cells, available in a split second, and it is the highest octane fuel we have. In fact, it’s ATP and adrenaline that allow the little old lady to lift the front end of the Ford Fairlane off her husband when the jack fails. Unfortunately, the muscles can only store about 20 seconds worth of this precious fuel to complete life-or-death tasks. If our ancestors survived that quick sprint to safety, their ATP reserves were filled again within minutes using the other energy systems.

Furthermore, that brief burst of intense energy sparked a small “growth spurt†in the muscle, making it even stronger for the next encounter with the next lion – a true survival adaptation.

(Note: While our energy systems are actually quite complex, varied and interrelated, I have simplified things here to make it easier to “digestâ€.)

Bottom line: Fats and ATP were the two primary energy sources for locomotion: we either moved slowly and steadily or “fight or flight†fast, and we became stronger and healthier the more we used only those energy systems.

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Mentioned in an MDA article:

real muscle growth will come from the short anaerobic bursts like sprints, intervals or weight-training. I'll do a piece on this later, but check out my friends at http://www.crossfit.com . They get more done in 20-30 minutes than most of the gym rats doing 90 minute weight sessions. And because it's a 'circuit training' concept, they get plenty of heart-training (cardio) as well. And growth hormone release and insulin sensitivity, and….you get the point.


Edited by alternativista
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JJ virgin's 4x4 workout

It's a pretty quick, high intensity full body workout of just a few exercises you can do on a park bench. Step ups, tricep dips... I think I might do this a few days a week.

Tv appearance in demonstrating workout:


She is behind the Virgin diet which involves avoiding pretty much the same foods we talk about here, grains, sugar, dairy, but also eggs as a pretty common allergen especially from badly fed and treated hens in factory farms, etc.

The site has Recipes, easy swaps, what looks like an ok blog. Also sells workout DVDs and equipment and such for people determined to spend money on stuff they don't need. Although the prices are pretty cheap. 2 workout DVDs for $30. Usually they insist on making a package full of junk so that you have to spend $89.95 and that's the 'call now' special promo price.


Edited by alternativista
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