According to research published in the April 27, 2016 issue of PLoS One , three 20 secondbursts of intense exercise sandwiched between lighter exertion levels had the same beneficial effect on sedentary men as 45 minutes of moderate exercise – improved heart and lung function, insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation.
The “sprint interval training” used for the study was a two minute warm up on an exercise bike, followed by three 20 second sprints with two minutes of easy cycling in between each sprint, and a three minute cool down – a total of 10 minutes – three times a week for 12 weeks.
Summary of study is at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/309682.php
Complete journal article is at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075#sec025
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This is an easy, effective and time efficient way to improve your health. If you use an exercise bike, give this approach a try. But, it’s not just for people who cycle. It can be done with any exercise or activity- swimming, skating, dancing, hiking, and of course walking, jogging or running.
If you already have a walking routine, try adding short bursts of jogging in between brisk walking. If you walk at a more leisurely pace, then add intervals of brisk walking. Start slowly and if you have a heart condition, check with your health care professional before making any changes to your exercise regime. If you want more formal interval training, work with a personal trainer.
Using the protocol from the research study above, a 10 minute brisk walk would look like this:
For more information:
Mayo Clinic – Interval Training
References: Gillen JB, Martin BJ, MacInnis MJ, Skelly LE, Tarnopolsky MA, Gibala MJ (2016) Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0154075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154075
Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES is the principal of Associates for Health Education and Behavior, LLC, in Sparta, a practice focused on improving health through education. Her office offers individual and group health education, and individual health behavior change guidance. For more information please see www.associatesforhealth.com To contact Dr. Hayden, email her firstname.lastname@example.org
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