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Fitting fitness into realtime results

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- North American Precis Syndicate

The expression “timing is everything” may also apply to getting fit, according to the fans of an innovative program based on the body’s rhythms that pairs a handful of one-minute bursts of exertion with full recovery.

Participants in the LifeWaves program spend about a half hour every other day, three weeks a month — a total of 11 sessions — briefly exercising and then completely recovering.

“The theory behind LifeWaves, using exertion and recovery cycles to maximize synchronization of our physiological processes, could have a profound impact on our understanding of health,” said Dr. Patricia Rush, a Chicago gerontologist formerly with Rush-Presbyterian Hospital.

Chronobiologists, or people who study the body’s natural rhythms, say that following an exercise program closely tied to your natural circadian and heart rhythms can be good for you.

Researchers from Harvard and Columbia Universities concluded that rest, recovery and the body’s natural rhythms are more important to fitness conditioning than previously thought.

The published study, “Implementa­tion of a Novel Cyclic Exercise Protocol,” reveals that brief bursts of up to a minute of exertion followed by recovery back to a resting heart rate can lead to significant improvements in health.

Commenting on the study, author Dr. Ary Goldberger, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said this cyclic program that is “designed to train both the activation and recovery phases of exercise may increase cardiovascular fitness-and enhance mood.”

So, between short bursts of exertion, just taking it easy may actually be an active and necessary biological process.

LifeWaves’ members follow a personalized program wearing a talking, interactive heart rate monitor that greets each member by name and records their heart activity during brief spurts of activity followed by rest. The information is uploaded over the Internet into the LifeWaves Web site for instant analysis and graphic feedback. Over time, participants can track their progress.

To learn more, visit www.Life Waves.com.

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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