Breathe your Way to the Top
Do you ever feel energy deprived?
Does this lead to worries of putting on weight that you’ve worked so hard to lose and keep off, because you are energy deprived and unable to exercise?
Perhaps some intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE) on the POD is the answer to your worries (and your metabolism)!
A recently published pilot study has shown that acute and short-term IHE can significantly raise the metabolic rate.
Briefly, three groups of sedentary males participated – acute IHE: a single 3h POD session; short-term IHE: six 3h POD sessions; and control: a single 3h POD session at sea level. The altitude level for IHE sessions was adapted throughout the session for the participants to maintain an SpO2 of 80%.
The results showed that in all three groups, energy expenditure, i.e. the difference between calories in and calories out, was significantly elevated after respective sessions. Thus, a ‘passive exercise’ period may be required to get your body back to having a fully functioning metabolism. More importantly, fuel utilisation was significantly altered following acute and short-term IHE vs. control. Specifically, a greater amount of fat was metabolised compared to carbohydrate sources following exposure to altitude than sea level after a single and cluster of sessions. Therefore, as the average human being carries more fat tissue than carbohydrate stores, it is likely that this may lead to weight loss or maintenance over an elongated period of time.
From the weight-making athlete to the person wanting to become lighter, these findings shine a positive light on IHE in terms of weight loss. Moreover, it gives reason to have an ‘easy’ recovery week on the POD to go again with some HIIT training!
Workman & Basset (2012). Nutr & Met, 9, 103.