Michael Mosley, a health guru, and author, has shared two low impact exercises that can be more effective at burning calories than high-intensity workouts. He explains the concept of eccentric exercise, which involves movements that stretch and elongate muscles, such as those in yoga and Pilates. Despite being less intense, these exercises cause more muscle damage, leading to a higher calorie burn during the repair and recovery process. This article explores the science behind eccentric exercise and its benefits in low-impact workouts.
Understanding Eccentric Exercise
Eccentric exercise involves movements that lengthen muscles under resistance, like walking downstairs or lowering a weight slowly. This type of exercise works muscle fibres at a heavier load, causing more muscle damage compared to concentric exercise, where muscles contract and squeeze. The damaged fibres during eccentric movements lead to a higher calorie burn during the repair and recovery process, resulting in a raised metabolic rate and increased strength.
The Science Behind It
Professor Tony Kay at the University of Northampton explains that eccentric exercise’s heavier muscle load is four times higher than that of concentric exercise. Consequently, more muscle fibres are damaged, leading to more calories burned during recovery. This makes eccentric exercise, as featured in yoga and Pilates, a more effective way to increase strength and burn calories than conventional high-intensity workouts.
Incorporating Yoga and Pilates
This keeps the calorie burn going even after the exercise is complete. These exercises are also low-impact, making them suitable for individuals with injuries or those unable to perform high-intensity movements. Moreover, yoga and Pilates are known to improve flexibility, strength, and bone density.
Contrary to the belief that high-intensity workouts are necessary for effective calorie burning, low-impact exercises like yoga and Pilates can yield similar results, thanks to eccentric exercise. By focusing on slow, controlled movements that elongate muscles, these exercises cause more muscle damage, leading to a higher calorie burn during the repair and recovery process. Additionally, yoga and Pilates offer various other benefits, making them ideal workouts for a wide range of individuals. With the accessibility of free online tutorials, anyone can try these low-impact exercises from the comfort of their home.