Short on time? Turns out you might not need an hour-long workout to get fit. How does one minute of intense exercise sound?
Researchers in Canada found that doing short sprint-interval training sessions — 10-minute sessions with one minute total of sprinting and nine minutes of rest and recovery — led to the same results as 45-minute workouts at a moderate pace.
That means that 60 seconds of strenuous exercise has the same physiological effects of a moderate workout that is three-quarters of an hour long.
Does the 1-minue workout really work?
In the sprint, workout participants cycled ‘all-out’ for 20 seconds, then cycled at 10% of that pace for two minutes. They went through the process three times.
In comparison, participants in the longer, more moderate workout cycled for 45 minutes straight at a pace that got their heart rate to 70% of their maximum levels.
Participants who sprinted for a short time and those who did a long, moderate workout saw the same cardiometabolic results.
Some argue that 70% of one’s maximum heart rate is a little slower than a moderate exercise pace. A fitness expert told Livestrong that 70% is right on the cusp between the slowest rate that she advises people to achieve and the mid-level rate.
“It depends on who you are and why you exercise,” said Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University. “If you are an elite athlete, then obviously incorporating both endurance and interval training into an overall program maximizes performance. But if you are someone, like me, who just wants to boost health and fitness and you don’t have 45 minutes or an hour to work out, our data show that you can get big benefits from even a single minute of intense exercise.”
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