By Jamell Andrews
Those who insist that they don’t have the time to exercise no longer have an excuse not to get moving thanks to a Canadian study that found that just one minute of high-intensity activity can have remarkable benefits for your health.
The 12-week study by researchers at McMaster University consisted of three groups of inactive men. One group did sprint interval training, another did continuous workouts, and the other made no changes in their exercise routine. While the group that made no changes showed no improvement over the 12 weeks, the other two groups increased their peak oxygen uptake by close to 20 percent even though one group did five times less exercise. After the 12 weeks, participant’s insulin sensitivity, muscle function, and oxygen consumption had improved by close to the same amount.
The study concluded that 3 minutes of intense exercise per week was as effective as 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity intermittent exercise.
To give you a better idea of the type of exercise that was found to have these benefits:
- The activity by the group that did more exercise consisted of a 50 minute routine that included a few minutes of warm-up and cool-down, along with 45 minutes of cycling at a moderate intensity.
- The group that exercised the least for the same benefits did a workout totalling 10 minutes that consisted of two minutes of riding a stationary bike at a low intensity which was followed by 20 seconds of fast pedaling. This was repeated three times and followed by 3 minutes of a slow cool-down.
What This Means
This is great news for those that have felt that it’s not worth it to exercise if they’re not able to find the time or commit to a high-intensity or longer workout. This study shows the impact that even just a little bit of exercise can have on your overall health. It also shows that you don’t need as much high-intensity activity as originally believed in order to get the benefits.
Regular activity is one of the most important and beneficial things that you can do for your health. Exercise has been found to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve circulation
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve bone health
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Improve range of motion and pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis
- Lower the risk of diabetes and complications in diabetics
- Improve heart health
- Reduce stress
- Improve anxiety and depression
- Improve sleep
- Lower the risk of cancer and other diseases
- Help you live longer
Always speak to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.