If you have a good exercise capacity - capable of high levels of physical activities - not only will your fitness level be high, your risk of dying will be delayed.
It is this “metabolic capacity”, the ability of your body to function at high levels of stress, that determines your physical fitness level. As important, you will prolong your life and keep many chronic diseases at bay.
Heart disease and cancer are two major causes of death that are directly related your physical capacity. If you have a strong reactive metabolic capacity, you have far less chance of dying early of any cause of lifestyle-induced death.
To determine exercise capacity you could have an exercise echocardiogram or any other types of clinical tests. But, there is a simple test to check your capacity.
The Stair Test
Here’s how it works. Climb four flights of stairs at a rapid pace in under one minute. If you can’t do it, it means that your fitness level is low and you need to exercise. The caveat here is that you don’t have an injury that prevents you from getting up the stairs.
The Step Test
Alternatively, the Step Test (more specifically, the Queens College Step Test which is an estimation of Volume of Oxygen, or VO2max, which is a strong indicator of fitness levels).
The Step Test is performed by stepping up and down small-tiered stairs for three minutes. This test is especially good to evaluate a fitness workout when testing before the workout begins and then again several weeks post-workout. The heart rate is recorded 5-seconds after the 3-minute test is performed. Over time, as the fitness levels improve (because of the workout), the heart rate should reduce post-workout compared to pre-workout. This is similar to Heart Rate Recovery. In other words, an improved fitness level equals a lower heart rate - the heart is more efficient. To estimate the VO2max with this test, the recorded numbers: gender, age, body weight, and heart rate are compared in classification tables.
The ability to move your entire body quickly is the functional capacity you have to deal with stress and disease, and life in general. Physical activity has a profound effect on blood pressure, oxygenation of tissues, inflammation, activation of the brain and nervous system, and a positive impact on the immune system - the body’s response to tumors. There are a host of other benefits to an improved physical capacity (or exercise capacity or metabolic capacity).
Fitness levels can be estimated in units called Metabolic Equivalents of Task (METs). These MET units give relevance to how much energy is needed per activity. If you are sitting reading this, your MET is about 1. A fast walk might be 3 MET. Jogging might be 6. A very good functional capacity might equal 10 MET - performing at a very high energy level for the task at hand. Your physical and fitness goal is to have the ability to tap into a high MET at will.
Back to the Stair Test; if you can climb four flights of stairs (about 12-13 steps) in less than 60 seconds, you will have equaled 10 METs, according to Dr. Jesus Peteiro, cardiologist at University Hospital A Coruna in A Coruna, Spain and the author of a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology.
It is the ability or capacity to be able to have 10 METs in your metabolic reserves that will predict your level of health and your ability to fend off lifestyle-induced illnesses and diseases.
I am very close to performing functional tests like the Stair Test for the Myoride Exercise Machine. Because of the ability of the machine to tap into all major muscle groups of the arms and legs and put them under bi-directional resistance I am confident we can increase the Metabolic Equivalent of Task and do it like no other exercise.
Ultimately, we all want better fitness levels - this is really a higher ability to function, have more energy, and stay stronger longer.
This in from Neuroscience News, a study that regular exercise will protect people from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The study was done at University of Virginia Health System, nearby where I did my undergraduate work.
Better than that is: "A single session of exercise increases the production of a critical antioxidant, called EcSOD, helping to reduce the effects of COVID-19 infection."
A single session!
One of the study's top exercise researchers is urging people to exercise based on his findings. The takeaway is that exercise is a potential treatment approach for respiratory distress.
Think about what you're doing with a good cardio-respiratory exercise. One part CARDIO the other part RESPIRATORY. I used to call the type of exercise we're doing as cardiovascular. Have you heard this before? The term is redundant. High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is cardio and respiratory.
The Myoride Exercise is respiratory in the highest degree because you are exercising so maximally that you go from the Aerobic energy system to the Anaerobic energy system - producing energy WITHOUT oxygen, You are exercising your entire body to such a degree that you cannot supply the oxygen debt that you have created from the exercise. So you have to use another source of energy production and that less-than optimal energy production is Anaerobic Metabolism.
What does this have to do with your Respiratory Function? Everything. By tapping into the Anaerobic system each time you exercise, you are improving the respiratory system function!!!
You can't help but improve your respiratory system and so we go back to the study which was originally titled in the Neuroscience News article - "Exercise may protect against deadly complication of Coronavirus".
Through the Myoride Exercise programs we are doing this and more...
Get this --
When you exercise, there is an antioxidant known as “extracellular superoxide dismutase” (EcSOD) that is produced. From the study..."This potent antioxidant hunts down harmful free radicals, protecting our tissues and helping to prevent disease. Our muscles naturally make EcSOD, secreting it into the circulation to allow binding to other vital organs, but its production is enhanced by cardiovascular exercise".
During intense exercise, not only are you improving your RESPIRATORY system, your muscles are producing more antioxidant in the form of EcSOD and this biochemical is being carried throughout your vascular system to all parts of your body.
How's that for a good reason to get into a good exercise program?
When I was developing the Myoride exercise machine I came across something I didn't know about. Do you know the two reasons most people don't exercise?
The most common reasons people don't exercise is #1 Lack of time and #2 Lack of results.
And once I developed the machine I found that I could do a complete workout three times a week in about 40 minutes, TOTAL. Then I had to learn about high intensity interval training (HIIT) because up until this time I knew very little about it. But this is where exercise is going - getting the maximum benefits in the minimal time.
Here's a clip from an article from Grand Canyon University © where you can read more.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
It is time efficient: Because of the high intensity format, a complete workout can last as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. Because the body is working at such a high intensity during this format, it is able to burn more calories in less time.
It keeps your metabolism elevated throughout the day: Not only does HIIT burn calories during the workout session, it causes your metabolism to stay elevated and burn calories for hours after your workout. Your metabolism will stay elevated because of the time it takes to restore energy and repair tissue. This is one of the main reasons why HIIT is so effective.
It leads to fat loss: HIIT utilizes both fats and carbohydrates as fuel during the workout. Because you are working at a high intensity, your body will be burning more calories, which then will cause you to burn more fat and carbohydrates. In addition, you will continue to burn fat throughout the day as your body recovers.
There are only two kinds of exercise: a) cardio and b) muscle building. All other kinds of exercise fall into these two categories. (I did have had one doctor try to tell me that stretching is another kind of exercise but stretching is not exercise).
The never-ending question in exercise circles is: should you do cardio or lift weights to build muscle?
One of the very first questions I asked myself when I was idea of Myoride Exercise machine was: What is the most important exercise, muscle building or cardio?
Yes, they are both important. But if I were going to pick one I would say that cardio was most important.
But, what if you could do both muscle building and cardio AT THE SAME TIME? No, not exactly muscle building - muscle toning.
You actually get both muscle toning and cardio at the same time when you workout on the Myoride exercise machine. Wouldn't you like to do a full-body workout in 7 minutes, 3 of which you're actually working out, and be done with it?
Muscle toning and cardio. It is not a question of which one to do because we're going to both. For many people it's a matter of getting into a program and getting started. For those who are already in a program it's a matter of constantly increasing muscle tone and cardio function. There is no end to improvement working out on the machine!
Look at all the major muscles involved in the workout...
The best way you get a cardio workout is to exercise the most muscles simultaneously. And, because the major muscles of the arms and legs are taken through near-complete range of motion against resistance you are getting muscle toning.
You get both muscle toning and cardio. What could be better than this?
You know that cardio workouts are the key that unlock physical health. The question is - what kind of cardio workouts? They are not created equally.
We are about to find out. Here's why.
As of April 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus, and because of this, the gyms and fitness centers across the country (and world?) have been closed. All but one.
The only fitness facility that hasn't closed but has been continuously functioning has been our facility which houses the Myoride Exercise Machine. Why? Because it is a Clinical Exercise Program that gives clinical fitness results. If we were inside the popular fitness clubs then yes, we would be shut down as well. But we have distinguished our product and service to gain clinical results.
Every person begins each new program with a trainer who assists you in your specific fitness/exercise program. And each program is not left to chance. It is tailored to each person's specific needs, conditions, and expected results.
What will happen when the popular fitness facilities open again is anyone's guess. Some people may not return. Some facilities may not re-open. And many commercial fitness equipment may be at bargain prices in the near future.
Two major themes I held very early on while I developed the Myoride machine were:
I worked diligently on a workout that had to be done in the shortest time while at the same time offer the greatest results. It had to be Efficient and Effective, the terms for time and results. And the more these two were separated (short time, greatest results) meant the very best. Right now, we are down to 4, 30-second intervals. But I'm hoping to get this down to 10-12 second intervals. The next generation machines should be able to do this.
What does this have to do with the 2020 Gym Sale of the Century? I forecast that a lot of fitness facilities will go under, and even fitness equipment manufacturers will stumble. I believe fitness equipment prices will drop. When this happens we'll find out the real value of what equipment works and what equipment collects dust.
The equipment that is the most time efficient and results effective will be the ones to hunt down and use. The two most common reason people don't exercise are: #1 Lack of time and, #2 Lack of results.
If it came down to it, for YOUR money and time, what are you going to do?
Yes, but there is a catch...
You already know that exercising at high intensity for 20 minutes elevates your mood for up to 12 hours and that exercise increases the production of growth hormone and brain function, and is one of the best ways to increase your longevity and also reducing your risk of Alzheimer's by half.
And reduces your stress. And increases your immune system function. We need not go into all of that; you already know this.
But did you know this...
In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, just one 23-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session per week boosts aerobic capacity, lower blood pressure, and lower body fat...was almost as effective as doing three 23-minute sessions per week!!!
But here's the catch. You can't just do ANY kind of exercise. Not just getting on the treadmill for 23 minutes or riding a bike for 23 minutes or doing just any kind of exercise. IT HAS TO BE HIGH INTENSITY.
You have to engage in the factors that make the exercise intense. Speed, resistance, full body, complete range of motion. You have to get into anaerobic metabolism for a few seconds -- in the RED zone of training.
And you have to go beyond your level of training - just a little - to gain the benefits we're talking about.
This is the way to do it - and not 23 minutes. Try 30 second bursts!