5 Key Ways to Take Charge of Your Health as You Age

A respected physician tells his diabetic patients that out of the 8,760 hours there are in a year, they see their health care providers on average only 10 of those hours. That leaves more than 99% of the time that they, the patients, are in charge of their own health. After all, it is their health. It’s the doctor’s responsibility to help patients understand how to do the best job possible to manage it.

Great perspective and great advice that is relevant to all of us. We are the deciders when it comes to our well-being.

Here are a few ways to help you take charge of your own health as you age:

1) Educate yourself. The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. You have an unlimited resource at your fingertips, but there’s also a lot of misinformation. Read widely but with a healthy skepticism. Remember, there’s never just one answer to good health and one study does not establish a scientific truth. You are unique and what works for someone else, may not be right for you. Nonetheless, be informed and do your homework.

2) Do some serious soul searching. What are your biggest health hurdles? Do you have any serious conditions or minor ones that could become serious? Are you overweight? Do you exercise enough? Do you see your doctor for regular checkups? Are you worried about your health as you age? What are you willing to do to be healthy? Do you have the discipline to make changes and stick to them? Once you’ve surveyed your status quo, make a checklist and then make a sincere commitment to take steps.

3) Food is your ally. An abundance of long term studies and surveys continue to show a strong connection between diet and disease. In other words, what you eat can influence whether you fall victim to many aging-related illnesses like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and others. Some good reads on the topic include Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. In this evidence-based book, author and clinical researcher, Dr. Neal Barnard, explains the nutrition-diabetes relationship. Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. presents a strong argument for implementing a plant-based diet in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Perhaps the most compelling case for adopting a healthy diet is The China Study, authored by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. This comprehensive study of nutrition has been called “one of the most important books about nutrition every written.”

4) Exercise. Science shows that exercise at any age or stage of life will benefit you. And it’s never too late to start an exercise program. Join a gym, sign up for yoga or get together with friends for morning walks. You’ll find that the benefits of exercise are instantaneous and invigorating. Remember, it doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. When you do something as simple as walking, it raises your heart rate, increases your respiration, burns calories and gives your muscles a workout.

5) Hormonal balance is vital. Your long term health depends on more than just diet and exercise. Hormonal balance is key to maintaining many important internal body functions. As you age, the production of certain vital hormones—i.e. estradiol and testosterone—stops or slows down. You need physiologic levels of these hormones to stay healthy. They impact every system, cell, gland and organ in your body. Your brain, muscles, bones, heart, lungs, and so on, all depend on hormones to keep them healthy. As an essential part of managing your health as you age, see a hormone replacement expert like SottoPelle® to have your hormone health checkup.

4 Reasons Pellet BHRT Is the Most Effective and Safest Method Available

If you’ve tried other methods of hormone replacement therapy—for instance pills, patches, creams, gels, suppositories or others—you know they can be inconvenient, messy and pose other issues. Dosing can be tricky too. Oral methods mean you have to take high doses of hormones in order to attain proper blood levels; dosing schedules can get complicated; using gels and creams can result in too much or too little hormone and so on.

Pellet implants, on the other hand, provide biologically identical hormones in a way the body recognizes and can utilize. What makes them so effective are the consistent blood levels of bioavailable hormones. Also, the dosing can be individualized to your own body’s needs. And they last longer than any other hormone replacement method.

1) Pellet BHRT has been prescribed since the 1930s
Hormone replacement using the pellet delivery method (subcutaneous implants) has been widely available for more than three-quarters of a century. In fact, beginning in the early 1940s, it became a very popular HRT treatment in the U.S. for about 30 years. Then, in the 1970s, pharmaceutical manufacturers introduced their newly developed and patented synthetic hormones. Shrewd marketing convinced the public, the medical establishment and the FDA to accept these new drugs as healthy and efficacious despite the long list of side effects, warnings and health risks. That being said, subcutaneous implants have remained accepted and commonly prescribed in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world.

2) Research supports the pellet implant hormone delivery system
Since the early 1940s, reports have appeared in a wide range of respected international journals validating the many benefits of pellet HRT. In fact, there is more supportive data on this method than any other form of hormone replacement therapy. The longevity of this science-based modality attests to the fact that, when properly managed, it is scientifically recognized as the safest and most effective method available for administering hormone replacement therapy. 1,2,3,4

3) Pellets are made from natural plant sources and are biologically identical to human hormones
The bioidentical hormones in pellets are made from either wild yam or soybeans. They are manufactured to the highest quality standards by facilities that are registered and inspected by the FDA. The hormones are formulated to precisely match human hormones. In other words, bioidenticals are able to fully communicate with receptor cells throughout the body and perform the many important tasks it requires. This isn’t the case with synthetic hormones, which can accomplish some tasks but not all. The intended imperfection of these formulations is the reason that synthetics can be patented, but also why they can cause havoc within the body and why they are required by the FDA to come with warnings about side effects and serious health risks.

4) Pellet implants use very small doses of hormone
Pellets are designed to release small amounts of hormone directly into the blood stream around the clock over a period of months (typically they last 3 to 6 months). This very closely matches the body’s own feedback system for releasing hormones and provides the steady, physiologic blood levels the body is used to.

Because pellets don’t have to pass through the gastrointestinal system or liver, smaller doses can be used to accomplish successful results. This makes pellet implants a much healthier alternative than oral methods like pills, tablets or capsules, which must be given in high doses to achieve any results at all.  Click here to learn more about SottoPelle BHRT Pellets.

  1. Salmon, U., et al. Use of estradiol subcutaneous pellets in humans. Science 1939, 90: 162.
  2. Greenblatt R. Indications for hormone pellets in the therapy of endocrine and gynaecological disorders. AM J Obstet-Synecol 1949; 57:294.
  3. Morris Notelovitz et al. Metabolic & Hormonal Effects of 25mg & 50mg, 17-¬‐B-¬‐Estadiol Implants. Obstetrics & Gynecology, Volume 70, No. 5, Nov 1987
  4. Suhonen S1, Sipinen S, Lähteenmäki P, Laine H, Rainio J, Arko H. Postmenopausal oestrogen replacement therapy with subcutaneous oestradiol implants. Maturitas. 1993 Mar;16(2):123-31.Pellets_Bio

Health and Wellness as You Age

Each part of your body – from your brain to your skin, your heart, your kidneys, and your muscles – has a specific job. They take direction from your endocrine system to get the work done. The glands of the endocrine system send out hormones that tell each part of your body what work to do, when to do it, and for how long. Hormones are vital to your health and well-being. Upset any part of the delicate balance, especially the production of endocrine hormones, and, like a chain reaction, you disrupt the entire system.
As life would have it, the arrival of middle age begins this process of physical disruption and imbalance. That’s when hormone production declines in women and men alike. By the time a woman reaches her early 50s, she completely stops making her most important estrogen—estradiol. At the same time, her progesterone and testosterone levels all but disappear. Diminished testosterone production in middle-aged men can actually cause them to become estrogen dominant at this stage of their lives.
Beyond creating sexual performance issues, a long list of other distressing symptoms often accompanies midlife hormone deficiency. Unwanted weight gain, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, depression, increased anxiety and irritability, hot flashes, night sweats and migraines are just a few of the signs of a body out of sync. It’s also a time when relationships falter and physicians too often prescribe counseling and anti-depressants instead of hormone replacement.
Perhaps the most alarming outcome of hormone deficiency, however, is the growing vulnerability to aging-related diseases. Abundant research continues to link low levels of key hormones with increased risk of diseases like osteoporosis, prostate and breast cancer, coronary artery disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and others.

Healthy Hormone Levels Are Vital to Good Health

Healthy hormone levels are associated with optimum brain function, emotional and physical well-being, cardiovascular and bone health, breast and prostate health, cell growth regulation, beneficial blood sugar levels, better sexual function and satisfaction, and more.

Properly restoring testosterone and estrogen (specifically estradiol) to the levels of younger years replenishes your body and gives it what it needs. Hundreds of body functions depend on the presence of these key hormones in order to work properly. This is true whether you’re male or female, 19 or 91. Your need for hormonal balance never goes away.

Using Pellet Implants Could Be Your Passport to Healthier Aging

Did you know that bioidentical pellet therapy can help keep you on the road to more vibrant aging? When you combine appropriately administered pellet implant BHRT with a healthful diet, regular exercise and other aspects of a beneficial lifestyle, you will reap the rewards thousand fold.

Why pellets? Many people don’t realize that bioidentical pellets have been prescribed and researched since the 1930s. Abundant medical literature in respected international journals supports pellet implants as the safest and most effective hormone delivery system available. Pellet doses can be individualized and will go to work for you around the clock for 3-4 months.

Additionally, pellet therapy is more convenient and cost effective than other HRT methods. Pills, patches, injections, creams and gels all come with a long list of downsides. Hormonal balance can be difficult or impossible to achieve with these. And besides the mess, the expense and the bothersome repeat dosages, why take a chance on the side effects and serious health risks of synthetic hormone treatments?

Be proactive. Have your hormone levels tested before symptoms and health issues get out of hand. Find a specialist, preferably someone with expertise in bioidentical pellet implants. The key to your well-being has everything to do with the type and quality of the hormones you’re taking, the method being used, and the skill and knowledge of your practitioner.


Meta-analysis concludes beneficial effect for testosterone replacement on body composition, glucose

Life Extension Update
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The March 2016 issue of the European Journal of Endocrinology published a meta-analysis of randomized trials and observational studies that affirmed an association between testosterone supplementation and improvement in body composition, glucose levels and insulin resistance.

For their analysis, Italian researchers identified 59 randomized controlled trials and observational studies that provided information on varying aspects of body composition in 3,029 men receiving testosterone and 2,049 control subjects. Not surprisingly, use of any testosterone preparation was associated with higher testosterone levels. Supplementing with testosterone was associated with a significant reduction in fat mass and an increase in lean body mass. Fasting blood glucose was lower among men using testosterone, particularly among younger men and subjects with metabolic disease. Insulin resistance was also reduced in men who supplemented with testosterone compared with those who did not use the hormone.

When the analysis was limited to placebo-controlled trials that enrolled men with low testosterone levels, testosterone supplementation was found to be associated with lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

“In men, visceral obesity is the main cause of age-related late-onset hypogonadism and weight loss is the first avenue of its treatment,” note authors Giovanni Corona and colleagues. “On the other hand, hypogonadism is associated with a substantial increase in fat accumulation, in particular in the visceral stores . . . The antiobesity activity of testosterone supplementation in hypogonadal men may be effective because, on one hand, it reduces abdominal fat accumulation and, on the other, it improves muscle mass and strength, facilitating adherence to exercise regimens designed to combat obesity.”

“Our data suggest that testosterone supplementation is able to improve body composition and glycometabolic profile particularly in younger subjects and in those with metabolic disturbances,” they conclude. “Specifically designed studies are urgently needed to confirm this point.”2016_man_720_02

Fitness & Exercise Middle-Age Fitness Helps Ward Off Stroke Later

Study finds this one thing reduces risk by 37 percent

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Physical fitness in middle age may lower your risk of stroke after 65, a new study finds.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that healthy mid-life behaviors pay off as we age, and lower our risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” said Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He was not involved in the study.

Among nearly 20,000 adults in their mid to late 40s, researchers found the most fit had a 37 percent lower risk of having a stroke after 65, compared with the least fit.

The protective effect of fitness remained even after the researchers accounted for risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

“Incorporating exercise and regular physical activity in one’s day-to-day routine is important to improve fitness and lower risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in older age,” said lead researcher Dr. Ambarish Pandey. He is a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.

Pandey said an exercise routine should include aerobic exercise (such as jogging, swimming, walking or biking), plus strengthening exercise (such as free weights or strength-training machines).

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of long-term disability, Pandey noted.

Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, cutting off blood and oxygen. This causes brain cells to die and can leave permanent disability.

Pandey speculated that exercise might help prevent stroke by keeping blood vessels healthier and lowering inflammation that can affect their function.

The findings suggest doctors should consider low fitness levels a risk factor for stroke, the study authors said.

While lifelong fitness is best for optimum health, starting later in life is still beneficial. “It’s never too late to exercise to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke,” Pandey said.

The report was published online June 9 in the journal Stroke.

Pandey and colleagues analyzed 1999-2009 data from a study conducted by the Cooper Institute in Dallas. It used treadmill tests to measure heart and lung exercise capacity when participants were 45 to 50.

The most interesting finding in this study, Sacco said, was that the effect of fitness was independent of some traditional risk factors. “Diet was not evaluated and can also be linked to health fitness lifestyles,” Sacco said.

Sacco agreed it’s never too late to start getting fit to reap health benefits.

“Other studies have shown that physical activity, even among older individuals, can also lower stroke risk and be associated with less silent stroke and mental decline,” Sacco said. “However, among older adults it is important to check with your physician before you start more vigorous physical activity.”hormonereplacementherapy

How Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Beneficial to Men?

When people think of hormone balance and replacement therapy, women usually come to mind. However, this is also extremely important for men.

Testosterone levels greatly affect a man’s overall well-being and health. With age, men naturally experience a decline in their testosterone levels. This is known to cause andropause, easily explained as the male version of menopause.

Loss of testosterone can have several side effects including:

  • Poor sexual performance
  • Potential for osteoporosis
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • and more

In order to restore this hormonal imbalance, men have several options. SottoPelle® offers a science-based hormone replacement therapy that is designed specifically for andropause. After the age of 30, men have especially found this beneficial to their lifestyle.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Beneficial to Men

For instance, our hormone replacement therapy provides a natural solution for decreased testosterone levels. With SottoPelle®, men are able to gain back their sexual desire and drive. This restored testosterone encourages optimal sexual performance.

Men also experience more energy which complements other aspects of their lives as well. To illustrate, they have more tolerance when it comes to exercise, gain muscle mass easier, and consequently see a decrease in body fat. Without this hormone increase, men continue to battle against a lack of manufactured testosterone that actually encourages weight gain.

Finally, hormone replacement therapy improves a man’s mental health. Not only does it offer physical benefits, but it helps clear the mind as well. SottoPelle® provides clarity that strengthens the mind and increases memory in men. It also helps individuals cope with depression and anxiety so that they experience more consistent moods.

Overall, hormone replacement therapy is essential for men who want to experience optimal physical and mental well-being throughout their entire lives. Despite the natural decline in testosterone that comes with age, SottoPelle® offers a solution. Men now have the option to increase their hormone levels and revitalize their bodies with age.testosterone-750x422

Have You Had Your Thyroid Checked Lately?


Most men and women know something about aging-related estrogen and testosterone deficiencies, but what about thyroid hormones? The thyroid is also an important part of your endocrine system. In fact, it plays a central role in your health. Its control over metabolism affects nearly every cell and organ in the body. The thyroid also regulates body temperature, growth, muscle strength, appetite, and the health of your heart, brain, kidneys and reproductive system.

As you get older, thyroid function begins to slow down. Unfortunately, under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) is difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are often vague and develop so slowly that many people don’t even know they have it. It was estimated in 2009 that nearly 4.6 percent of our populace aged 12 and up has hypothyroidism. According the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. Women are statistically more likely than men to develop hypothyroid and it’s also more widespread in people over age 60.

Indications That You Should Have Your Thyroid Checked

The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
• Low energy
• Fatigue or exhaustion, even after a full night’s sleep
• Cold and heat intolerance
• Decreased sweating
• Dry skin
• Weight gain
• Puffy face
• Dry, thinning hair
• Depression
• Slowed heart rate

Other signs of hypothyroidism may include:
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Digestive problems
• Constipation
• Circulatory problems
• Anemia
• Allergies
• Frequent infections
• Sleep disturbances
• Muscle weakness
• Acne
• Eczema
• Infertility
• Premenstrual syndrome
• Memory loss
• Difficulty losing weight
• Fuzzy brain
• Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
• Low libido

You may have several of these or even none at all. The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor and have your thyroid checked. Since these symptoms can also be related to other health problems, it’s imperative to have a thorough health check to determine what’s going on. You’ll need comprehensive blood tests, including thyroid and other endocrine hormone panels. If you’re over 50, you may find your doctor writing off your complaints as a part of “normal aging.” Find another physician who will take your situation seriously.

What is Your Health Worth to You?

Good health is priceless. Who doesn’t want to live to a ripe old age feeling vibrant, engaged and relevant? And guess what? The odds are in your favor. Statistics show that the population is not only living longer, but staying more active and vital well into their 80s, 90s and even 100s! So you are not alone in your quest for well-being.

Staying healthy, whatever your age, depends on a lot of different things—the kinds of food and chemicals you ingest, the amount of exercise you get, your attitude, and other influencers. In the center of all this is YOU. Your body, mind and spirit—everything that is uniquely you—is impacted each and every day by the choices you make and steps you take.

What is Your Health Worth?

Modern medicine is, fortunately, becoming more of a partner in your wellness and less of a mere band-aide for symptoms. Rather than solely providing sick care, it is transforming into a more preventive, proactive and participatory collaboration. The expanding arena of information technology is driving other changes too. Telemedicine, the cloud, smart devices and artificial intelligence are already revolutionizing diagnostics and treatment, as well as the future role of doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. These extraordinary changes mean that, down the road, you will enjoy greater control over your aging process.

In the meantime, be sure to invest in your health! Obviously, you want to eat a healthy diet, exercise, keep your brain active and maintain a spiritual practice. But, did you know that the right kind of hormone replacement can also be a really key investment in your present and future? Despite what you may have heard there is abundant research dating back to the 1940s to support the many health benefits of properly administered BHRT.

SottoPelle® calls it healing from the inside out. For decades we have treated tens of thousands of men and women using our proprietary, research-based pellet implant method. We’ve seen the remarkable results and heard patients thank us again and again for giving them back their lives, their relationships and their health. SottoPelle® has done wonders for people suffering from osteoporosis, Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s and even TBI (traumatic brain injuries). It is our heartfelt mission to help you heal and live your best life possible.

So, check us out. You’ll be amazed at how, like so many others, you will actually feel like you’ve regained your life.

Menopause, Hormones, and Heart Health

Recent studies show that women are experiencing menopause at much earlier ages than expected. By age 40, most women are totally depleted of normal levels of estrogen and have lost nearly all their progesterone and more than half of their testosterone. The average woman can expect her periods to stop when she is just 46.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading killer of women. Research indicates a correlation between declining estrogen levels during menopause and an increase in the risk for cardiovascular problems. Women who have gone through menopause are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease.

Estrogen is shown to support the blood vessels. Results from a 1991 study indicated that after 15 years of estrogen replacement, risk of death by cardiovascular disease was reduced by almost 50 percent and overall deaths were reduced by 40 percent.

At the same time, testosterone supports the cardiovascular system in women as well as men.

While hormone therapy can help protect the heart health of menopausal and aging women, the key to effective treatment lies in the type of hormone and administration method.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses natural, plant-derived compounds that precisely match the same molecular structure as human hormones – unlike traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which is synthetic, or pharmaceutical. Bioidentical hormones are better assimilated by the body without the dangerous side effects associated with synthetic type – including heart disease.

Research demonstrates that hormone pellets – about the size of a grain of rice and slipped under the skin – provide the most effective hormone delivery method since the hormone release is monitored naturally by the heart rate. When prescribed and properly administered, BHRT pellets can support heart health and offer relief for menopausal symptoms.

Numerous studies* cite the potential benefits of bioidentical estrogen and testosterone pellets to:

• Reduce harmful LDL and total cholesterol
• Increase protective HDL
• Decrease triglycerides
• Assist in retaining the ability of the coronary arteries to dilate and remain pliable

Evidence from a 2013 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the “timing hypothesis,” which shows that women in the early stages of menopause are more likely to experience additional cardiovascular benefits from HRT treatment than women who have been menopausal for 10 or more years.

Another study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that 32 percent of heart attacks and cardiac deaths were reduced in women age 60 or younger who had received bio-identical hormone treatment.

I recommend that women start checking their hormone levels with a simple blood test around ages 35-40 to correct hormonal imbalances. This can help to protect their hearts and avoid many unpleasant health problems that occur during menopause, such as thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, depression, breast cancer, brain fog and fibromyalgia. Bioidentical hormones, taken in early menopause, may actually help prevent coronary heart disease and many of these issues.

*Menopause, Susan Davis, 2000; Obstetrics & Gynecology, Notelovitz, 1987;


Can High-Intensity Exercise Help Me Lose Weight? And Other Questions, Answered

I recently wrote about a study showing that one minute of intense interval training, tucked into a workout that was, in total, 10 minutes long, produced comparable health and fitness benefits to 45 minutes of more moderate, uninterrupted endurance training.

Readers posted almost 400 comments to the article and flooded the Internet and my inbox with questions and sentiments about extremely short workouts. Given the extent of the response and the astuteness of the questions, I thought I would address some of the issues that arose over and over.

Q. Are high-intensity interval workouts actually better for you than longer, endurance-style workouts — or just shorter?

A. Better is such a subjective word. At the moment, the two types of workouts appear to be largely equivalent to each other in terms of a wide variety of health and fitness benefits.

In the study that I wrote about, “1 Minute of All-Out Exercise May Equal 45 Minutes of Moderate Exertion,” for instance, three months of high-intensity interval training practiced three times per week led to approximately the same improvements in aerobic endurance, insulin resistance and muscular health as far longer sessions of moderate pedaling on a stationary bicycle.

One type of workout was not more beneficial than the other, in other words, but one required much, much less time.

Other studies have generally produced similar results, although, to be honest, the science related to interval training for health purposes and not simply for athletic performance remains scant. An interesting new review of past research to be published in June did conclude that, for overweight and obese children, short sessions of intense intervals may lead to greater improvements in endurance and blood pressure than longer bouts of moderate exercise, although the authors did not discuss how best to get children to complete frequent interval sessions.

The upshot of the available science is that if you currently have the time and inclination to complete long-ish, moderate workouts — if you enjoy running, cycling, swimming, walking or rowing for 30 minutes or more, for instance — by all means, continue.

If, on the other hand, you frequently skip workouts because you feel that you do not have enough time to exercise, then very brief, high-intensity intervals may be ideal for you. They can robustly improve health and fitness without overcrowding schedules.


What about combining brief high-intensity workouts with longer, endurance workouts?


Alternating high-intensity workouts with endurance-style workouts may yield the greatest health and fitness gains of all.

In a 2014 study, a group of sedentary adults began either a standard endurance-training program, in which they pedaled a bicycle moderately for 30 minutes five times a week, or swapped one of those bike rides for an interval session. All of the participants wound up significantly more aerobically fit after 12 weeks.

But the men and women who had completed one interval session per week had developed slightly more overall endurance than the other volunteers. As a result, they had lowered their risk for premature death by about an additional 18 percent, the study’s authors conclude.


Do I have to use a stationary bicycle for interval training?


Most recent studies of high-intensity intervals have involved computerized stationary bicycles because scientists can easily monitor the riders’ pace and intensity. But there is nothing magical about the equipment. The key to high-intensity interval training is the intensity, which most of us can gauge either with a heart rate monitor or our own honest judgment.

For moderate exercise, your heart rate typically should be between 70 and 85 percent of your maximum. (I recently wrote about how to determine your individual maximum heart rate.) This intensity would feel like about an 8 on an arduousness scale of 1 to 10.

During an intense interval, however, your heart rate should rise to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate, or above. Think of this as feeling like about a 9.5 on the 10-point scale. You maintain that intensity for only 10 or 20 seconds at a time, however, followed by several minutes of very easy exercise before repeating the intense work.

Almost any type of exercise can be used for interval training, including running up the stairs in your office’s stairwell during your lunch hour, said Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and an expert on intervals. (His book about the science and practical implications of high-intensity interval training will be published in early 2017.)


Will high-intensity intervals help me to lose weight?


Few studies have yet looked at the long-term effects on body weight of exercising exclusively with high-intensity intervals, although some experiments do hint that high-intensity interval training can reduce body fat, at least in the short term.

In a 2015 study, for example, overweight, out-of-shape men who began either to jog or otherwise exercise moderately for an hour five days per week for six weeks or to complete intensive interval training for a few minutes per week all dropped body fat and about the same percentages of fat, despite very different amounts of exercise. Likewise, a group of women recovering from breast cancer who were assigned either to moderate exercise or brief interval training for three weeks lost comparable amounts of body fat during the study.

But these were small-scale, brief experiments. Whether interval training helps or hinders long-term weight control is still unknown.

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