Being Fit: One Minute Of Intense Exercise Is As Good As The 45-Minute Light Workout, New Study Says

First Posted: May 05, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

Researchers from McMaster University discovered that a single minute of intense exercise has health benefits. The findings may hold back the excuses of some people that they don't have time to exercise.

Science Daily reports that the study was led by Martin Gibala, a professor of Kinesiology at McMaster. It was published in the journal PLOS ONE. Gibala said that this is a very time-efficient workout strategy. He further said that brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective.

The researchers aim to compare the sprint interval training (SIT) and the moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT). They assessed the key health indicators that include the insulin sensitivity and the cardiorespiratory fitness.

In an earlier study, the researchers discovered that sprint interval training (STI) had significant health benefits. This involved a 10-minute training program which had three 20-second "all-out" cycle sprints that were performed in between 2 minutes of low-intensity cycling. It also has a 2-minute warm-up and a 3-minute cool down.

In a new study, which is the moderate-intensity continuous training, involved a 50-minute warm-up that was followed by 45 minutes of continuous cycling at a moderate pace. It also involves a 3-minute cool down.

The study was attended by 27 sedentary men. They were asked by the researchers to perform a three weekly sessions of either SIT or MICT for 12 weeks, while the others were allocated to a control group, who did not exercise, according to MNT.

The results showed that after 12 weeks, both the SIT and MICT group had similar health compared to a control group. Both groups had improvements in their insulin sensitivity, cardiorespiratory fitness and the levels of mitochondria in skeletal muscles. Gibala said that their study showed that an interval-based approach can be more efficient. He explained that you can get health and fitness benefits comparable to the traditional approach in just a shorter time.

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