Latest Research: Exercise Efficiently

If time is a barrier to exercise then this new study from Canadian researchers might appeal.

They found that 10 minutes of exercise incorporating just 1 minute of sprint intervals, was as effective for improving insulin sensitivity and cardiorespiratory fitness as doing 50 minutes of moderate intensity continuous exercise.

The exercise sessions were performed three times per week for 12 weeks in a group of overweight, sedentary men.  The sprint-interval training group did 3 x 20 seconds ‘all-out’ cycle sprints interspersed with 2 minutes of slow cycling while the moderate intensity continuous exercise group cycled for 45 minutes at a moderate pace. Both groups did a 2 minute warm-up and 3 minute cool-down at a slow pace.

Despite a five-fold lower exercise volume and time commitment, the sprint training was found to be just as effective for improving a number of health and fitness measures as the longer sessions of moderate continuous exercise, something which has also been demonstrated in previous studies. While more research is needed, and this isn’t for everyone, it may appeal to those who are time poor and are able to exercise safely at high intensities.

Note:  if you want to give this a go and haven’t done high intensity exercise before, it’s important to check with your doctor before you get started.

Source: Gillen et al (2016). Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. PLoS ONE. 11(4): e0154075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.015407

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