Got a minute?
In the last couple of years, high-intensity interval training has become the latest darling of gymgoers obsessed with burning calories and doing so at top speed.
“The return on investment of interval training is fabulous, and it keeps exercise interesting,” says Richard Cotton, the national director of certification at the American College of Sports Medicine
Santa Fe personal trainer Jeff Nailen says, “When you do a high intensity workout, it speeds up your metabolism for up to 38 hours after the workout. The most conservative studies I’ve seen show that interval training is nine times more effective than long slow distance training. Other studies show it’s up to 20 times more effective.”
Interval training is undoubtedly effective — for those who keep it up — but several studies have also shown that the commitment in gym time and working with a trainer is a major obstacle for many people. Now, a team of Canadian researchers has shown that just three minutes of all-out, heart-pumping exercise per week has significant benefits — better endurance, better blood pressure and blood sugar levels and better muscle activity.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, the online medicine and science journal, had volunteers incorporate one minute of hard exercise in each of three weekly workouts that can easily be done at home. Martin Gibala, one of the study’s authors, says that even people with chronic disease can use this type of brief high-intensity exercise safely, simply by adjusting the intensity to their starting fitness level.