Brief bursts of intense exercise remarkably effective

Published April 28th, 2016 - 03:39 GMT
Even 1-minute of intense exercise can make difference
Even 1-minute of intense exercise can make difference

If you are the type of person who wants to shed those extra kilos, but gets tired just thinking about the workout, boy, does science have good news for you: You can be fit in just 60 seconds!

Researchers at McMaster University have found that a single minute of very intense exercise produces health benefits similar to longer, traditional endurance training.

"This is a very time-efficient workout strategy," says lead author Martin Gibala. "Brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective."

Scientists set out to determine how sprint interval training (SIT) compared to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), as recommended in public health guidelines. They examined key health indicators including cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity, a measure of how the body regulates blood sugar.

"Most people cite 'lack of time' as the main reason for not being active", according to Gibala. "Our study shows that an interval-based approach can be more efficient, you can get health and fitness benefits comparable to the traditional approach, in less time."

The findings are published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

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