In the midst of our busy lifestyles, especially during the holiday season, finding an efficient and effective fitness solution is very important to our immune systems, energy levels, and mental and emotional well-being. Each person has a different reason for working out; whether it is weight loss, increasing athletic performance, better health or just wanting to look and feel younger, the solution is simple – sprint! Sprint Interval Training (SIT) is the single most effective way to improve your overall health. Another huge benefit is that it only takes a few minutes a day.

The secret to sprinting is the intensity of the exercise. A basic physiological principle is that the body adapts to stress, so as the intensity of the stressor (e.g., exercise) increases, the body responds with greater adaptation. One example of adaptation to SIT is the development of a stronger, healthier heart. While this principle may seem very simple, two intricate mechanisms lead to the many beneficial adaptations to sprint training.

Sprinting is Medicine

One important physiological adaptation to SIT is the anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural way to begin the healing process, but when it becomes continuous it has a negative effect. Examples of continuous inflammation are chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. Sprint training produces signaling molecules that initiate a healing response using both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory reactions to repair, regenerate, and grow stronger tissue. Unlike drugs that target single reactions and ignore the web-like interactions in the body, SIT trains the body’s innate ability to produce a wide array of beneficial effects that improve whole body function. SIT, which incorporates whole body exercise, and therefore increased muscle recruitment, is the most effective method for attaining the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise.

Hormonal Exercise

Hormones are powerful chemical messengers in the body. They signal which fuel (sugar or fat) our metabolism will use for energy. There is an optimal state of hormonal balance that enhances the body’s utilization of fat stores. Sprinting is the most effective way to reach this highly beneficial state of hormone balance.

SIT elevates stress hormones like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, as an innate physiological response to stress. As you run faster and harder, the supply of oxygen becomes insufficient and these hormones increase the utilization of sugar as a fuel. Because sugar is a fuel that can be used in the absence of oxygen, sprinting depletes sugar stores. The production of energy from sugar in the absence of oxygen generates lactic acid, which is far more than a waste-product – it is also a buffering aid and a signaling molecule. As lactic acid accumulates, it stimulates the release of powerful metabolic stimulants like testosterone and human growth hormone. The complete hormonal response then acts synergistically to produce a leaner, healthier and younger individual.

The effect from these hormonal messengers continues long after the sprint. Combined with decreased energy reserves, the body sends signals to rebuild, regenerate, and recycle energy. Since sugar stores are decreased after sprinting, fat is then used to repair the body and regenerate sugar reserves. In this way, the body becomes a fat burning machine through a finely orchestrated, hormonal, metabolic response. This creates the perfect scenario for losing fat and building muscle.

There are of course many ways to perform sprint training. One of the safest, fastest ways to get started is by using the X-iser machine. Learn more in the Natural Cures™ Virtual Marketplace and the Natural Cures™ Newsletter, or go to www.burstforhealth.com Watch for future articles from Dr. Mark Smith, and consider investing in yourself this holiday season with the Xiser, which makes our favorite way to get fit fast — SIT, easy!