Guess what, world?! No matter your busy work schedule or your lively social life, you do in fact have time for exercise. According to new data, improving your health with physical activity might not actually be as time consuming as you think. One minute of hard exercise is just as effective as moderately working out for 45 minutes, one study suggests, and for those of us with hectic schedules, this fitness hack may change your life.
In a study outlined in an article in The New York Times, scientists found that just 60 seconds (yes, you read that correctly) of high intensity exercise has a comparable physiological effect on the human body to 45 minutes of lighter exercise. So, go ahead and hop off of that elliptical you've been casually cruising on for the past half hour, and get ready for an efficient blast to the old muscles.
The study consisted of three groups of objectively out-of-shape men and measured muscles, aerobic fitness, and blood sugar regulation. The first group, which functioned as a control group, changed nothing about their existing routine. The second was assigned to an endurance training routine which consisted of 45 minutes moderate pedaling on a stationary bike. The third group's workout lasted approximately 10 minutes with a grand total of 60 seconds of that time dedicated to all-out strenuous pedaling on the same stationary bikes. Five minutes were dedicated to warming up and cooling down, and the other five were spent alternating between 20 seconds of arduous pedaling and two minutes of leisurely pedaling.
At the end of the study, scientists re-examined the blood sugar regulation, aerobic fitness, and muscles of each participant, and found that the gains between the moderate exercise group and the interval training group were virtually identical, suggesting that, for people looking to improve health and fitness, one minute of vigorous exercise can significantly boost energy, insulin resistance, and even endurance.
Scientists added that elite athletes or people who already have a regular workout regimen would benefit from including both endurance and interval training styles into their routine.
So what does this mean for you, busy person who swears there's no time to hit the gym? It's still probably in your best interest to find a regular fitness routine that works for you, even if it's only a few days a week. But, if you don't have an entire hour to spend hitting the treadmill, consider spending a minute or two (literally, there's no need to do more), seriously exerting yourself after you warm up, and then spend the remaining time you do have with your regular workout of choice. Time, finally, is on your side.
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