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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

US survey trends show that since the 1970’s there has been a decline in energy intake, (consumption of food) and a rise in the prevalence of obesity. This suggests that there must have been a dramatic decrease in total energy expenditure. Energy expenditure is the sum of energy (or calories) the body needs to carry out physical functions such as breathing and digestion, as well as the energy used in physical activity. As the rate of obesity in the US increases, it is becoming more and more important to find ways to increase energy expenditure, specifically through physical activity. Physical activity is often thought of as the key to fat loss because it is the component of energy expenditure that is most variable and can lead to the greatest total energy expenditure. The issue that follows is that many overweight individuals lack the motivation to invest time and energy into a substantial amount of exercise. To overcome this problem and to help make exercise more manageable, high interval intensity exercise (HIIE) can be a practical solution. HIIE is an exercise strategy that prescribes short periods of intense exercise alternating with less intense recovery periods. HIIE can potentially, with little time investment, result in energy expenditure equivalent to that of lower intensity continuous exercise done for a longer period of time. The purpose of this review is to examine the effects of HIIE on body composition and fat loss according to the current literature. If HIIE proves to be an effective way to burn fat without the time investment exercise routines typically require, it may make fat loss goals more attainable and lead to better results if implemented into weight loss programs.

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