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Short interval training can help you get fitter and healthier without spending a lot of time
Are you one of those people who would like to do a little more sport but never have enough time? Then there is good news for you: Researchers have found that a sports program consisting of a sixty-second sprint exercise and nine minutes of light exercise is enough to achieve the same level of fitness as you normally would with fifty minutes of moderate exercise is triggered.
Most people want to improve their health and get fit, but at the same time they want to invest as little time as possible. In the past, one would have said that these two points are completely contradictory and that training is not possible or leads to no results. However, scientists from McMaster University have now found in an investigation that a complete training session of ten minutes is sufficient to achieve the same improvement in our fitness as with a moderate training session lasting around fifty minutes.
The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Plos one".
Doctors test the results of sprint interval training (SIT)
So-called sprint interval training (SIT) is a type of training strategy in which people supplement a short, extremely intensive workout with longer recovery times with low intensity. For example, one minute of sprinting followed by nine minutes of light training like jogging. For people who say that they would like to do more sport but do not have time for it, there are no more excuses, explains Professor Martin Gibala from McMaster University in Canada.
Athletes rely on intervals in their training to improve their speed and performance. However, these intervals are usually part of a broader weekly training program. Such training usually includes less intensive training, such as long-distance runs, the scientists explain. In recent years, people have repeatedly come up with the idea of only carrying out a short interval training that includes all training units and still achieved good results. The appeal of such training should be immediately clear. The training sessions would be so short that everyone really has time to do them, the doctors say.
Effects of twelve weeks of training analyzed
In their study, the researchers examined 27 men who had no routine with exercise before the examination. The scientists randomly divided the participants into two different groups. Subjects were then asked to complete either endurance training or sprint interval training.
In a period of twelve weeks, the men had to do three sessions a week on a stationary bike, the authors explain. There was a small group of men who served as a control group and were asked not to do any exercise. The sprint interval training consisted of the following exercises: a two-minute warm-up, a 20-second sprint with maximum effort, two minutes of slow pace for recovery, another 20 seconds of sprint, another recovery of two minutes, then a last sprint over 20 seconds. After that, they drove slowly for three minutes to cool down, the doctors say. The structure of the endurance training was as follows: the experts add two minutes to warm up, then a 45-minute ride at a moderate pace, followed by a three-minute cool-down.
Sprint interval training improves our oxygen consumption and our muscle functions
After twelve weeks, both groups showed an increase of around 19 percent in their so-called VO2 peak test. This analyzed the highest amount of oxygen that our body consumes every 30 seconds during training, the authors explain. A muscle biopsy was also performed, which showed an improvement in muscle functions, the researchers say. So to make it short: there are no more excuses! If you have ten minutes, you can start training now and live fitter and healthier in the future. (as)