No Time To Get Fit? Think Again

Martin Gibala. Image courtesy of McMaster University.

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

The findings put to rest the common excuse for not getting in shape: There is not enough time.

Scientists set out to determine how sprint interval training (SIT) compared to the moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) 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. 

The McMaster team has previously shown that the SIT protocol, which involved three 20-second “all-out” cycle sprints, was effective for boosting fitness. The workout totaled just 10 minutes, including a two-minute warm up, a three-minute cool down, and two minutes of easy cycling for recovery between the hard sprints.

The new study compared the SIT protocol with a group who performed 45 minutes of continuous cycling at a moderate pace, plus the same warm up and cool down. After 12 weeks of training, the results were remarkably similar.

“The basic principles apply to many forms of exercise,” said Martin Gibala, PhD, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster and lead author on the study. “Climbing a few flights of stairs on your lunch hour can provide a quick and effective workout. The health benefits are significant.” 

The findings are published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

This article was adapted from information provided by McMaster University.

This article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional for your specific situation.

Next Post