What’s Zone 2 Training? And, Why Is It Metabolically Important?
The theme for this week … moderate exercise helps too!
Once upon a time, conventional thinking was you had to push harder and longer to get benefits from a workout. Current research shows something different and that a less intense workout has its own benefits. This workout level is commonly referred to as Zone 2 training. Read on …
How is the lower intensity Zone 2 training beneficial?
It turns out that exercising at a moderate level has profound benefits to our metabolism. Because you are exercising slower and longer, there is only a mild stress on the body and the body, which allows the body to adapt in important ways.
What is Zone 2 Training?
Zone 2 training is cardio activity that raises your heart rate while you can still carry on a conversation (known as the talk test), as well as exercise for 20 plus minutes without fatigue. At this pace, your muscles are not working hard enough to produce lactic acid, so they don’t get tired and sore.
What are the key benefits?
Primarily metabolic, some important Zone 2 training health benefits are:
- Promotes creation of new mitochondria which convert glucose and fat to energy.
- Improves insulin responses by modulating glucose levels in the body. (This impacts Type 2 Diabetes.)
- Improves oxygen capacity in the lungs.
- Increases heart muscle tissue so the heart can pump more efficiently.
A more detailed discussion can be found here, The metabolic benefits of slow and steady Zone 2 training.
In real life, things happen that could keep you from even moderate exercise
Are you able to keep moving for 20 minutes? If not, you may benefit from a boost to your micromovements, allowing your skeletal system to function better so you can reap the benefits from Zone 2 training.
At The Bridging® Institute, we provide a novel solution to helping children and adults ages 0-99 be more active.
Your health depends on it!
Insight of the week from Cara
I used to feel like I wasn’t training hard enough when training for running races since I just couldn’t do a run every day. Running everyday felt like I was literally wrecking myself.
Newer health research supports the concept of lighter days for recovery, and I feel so validated!
I feel even better realizing that the lighter days have significant health benefits. Zone 2 training really allows the body to do some housecleaning and upgrading of systems to support more intense times.
When you think about this, it makes sense. It’s hard to do maintenance of your home or car when you’re in the middle of heavy use. You need to take it offline to do the maintenance.
How Bridging® keeps you ready for the slower, steady Zone 2 level of exercise
The injuries, illnesses, medical interventions and early events you experience throughout your life may make it hard to do even the Zone 2 training.
That’s where Bridging® comes in. It helps your body’s ability to be active by following a three-step process:
- Assess specific micromovement flows and transitions.
- Analyze the assessment information in the context of your illness.
- Reset muscle memory to return you quickly and gently to a more active life.
After Bridging®, you’ll be better able to reap the benefits of active living!
Stories from our sessions … checking back in on Joanne’s shoulder pain
In this week’s video, we follow-up with Joanne. We previously used Bridging® to address her neck pain related to a diving injury when she was a child. She’s much better, but still has some lingering issues in her neck and shoulder.
After this second session, her update two days later was “BTW my shoulder has been feeling better every day.” And 5 days later, she adds, “It’s doing really well. Some really minor stuff in my right side of my neck but everything else is great!”
What happened to Joanne and when?
- Birth/Early life: none of note
- Injury/Accident: head injury age 10
- Medical procedures/surgeries: 2 hip replacements, 2 c-sections, multiple minor procedures
- Illness: none of note
The goal is to relieve shoulder pain to be more active
Goal: Getting back to normal daily activity without pain
What did we find?
A quick assessment showed that her right arm and shoulder were not transitioning at each joint as easily as the left. Her hand grasp also seemed to play a role.
What did we do?
This time we worked on fine-tuning the way the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck muscles all work together. Instead of supporting her head and neck in the position of the accident as we did in the first session, we supported in a more functional position, like she would experience with everyday usage.
You’ll have to watch the video to see how we helped Joanne’s shoulder, and neck by being so specific with our support with her arm.