How Short Exercise Can Improve Your Health

How Short Exercise Can Improve Your Health

There are a couple of problems that affect people when it comes to exercising for health. One obvious problem is the amount of time it takes. The other is boredom. Many people just don't like to exercise. For this group it's work, drudgery, and even a fate worse than death. There can be another way.

Many people assuming they have the time, can overcome boredom by mixing exercise with another activity like walking, bicycling, or even gardening. But for those of us that don't want to do anything, but yet have a bit of will power, there may be a better way. Research indicates that high intensity exercise may be just the trick.

What Is High-Intensity Interval Training. Is It Healthy?

High-intensity interval training is exercising with alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise and periods of rest. Sessions are from 9–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.

The high intensity interval training session consists of a warm up and six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The session should last 15-20 minutes.

How 1-Minute Intervals Can Improve Your Health

The New York Times

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While many of us wonder just how much exercise we really need in order to gain health and fitness, a group of scientists in Canada are turning that issue on its head and asking, how little exercise do we need?

The emerging and engaging answer appears to be, a lot less than most of us think — provided we’re willing to work a bit.

In proof of that idea, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, recently gathered several groups of volunteers. One consisted of sedentary but generally healthy middle-aged men and women. Another was composed of middle-aged and older patients who’d been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

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Physiological adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity interval training in health and disease.

Gibala MJ, Little JP, Macdonald MJ, Hawley JA. -- McMaster University:

How Short Exercise Can Improve Your HealthExercise training is a clinically proven, cost-effective, primary intervention that delays and in many cases prevents the health burdens associated with many chronic diseases. However, the precise type and dose of exercise needed to accrue health benefits is a contentious issue with no clear consensus recommendations for the prevention of inactivity-related disorders and chronic diseases.

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that high-intensity interval training (HIT) can serve as an effective alternate to traditional endurance-based training, inducing similar or even superior physiological adaptations in healthy individuals and diseased populations, at least when compared on a matched-work basis. While less well studied, low-volume HIT can also stimulate physiological remodelling comparable to moderate-intensity continuous training despite a substantially lower time commitment and reduced total exercise volume.

Such findings are important given that "lack of time" remains the most commonly cited barrier to regular exercise participation. Here we review some of the mechanisms responsible for improved skeletal muscle metabolic control and changes in cardiovascular function in response to low-volume HIT. We also consider the limited evidence regarding the potential application of HIT to people with, or at risk for, cardiometabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes. Finally, we provide insight on the utility of low-volume HIT for improving performance in athletes and highlight suggestions for future research.

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Watch Interval Training Workouts for Beginners Video