How to Get the Most for the Least Exercise Time

What if there was a way to exercise that took less time but gave you the same benefits?

We've been told by the "authorities" to exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes a day at least 3 times a week for better health. Or something like that. I don't know the exact recommendations. I'll Google it.

OK. I'm back. The American Heart Association says 30 minutes a day 5 days a week of moderate exercise or 25 minutes a day three days a week of vigorous aerobic activity for a total of 75 minutes.[1] The American Diabetic Association[2] and the Center for Disease Control[3] basically say the same thing. So, it looks like these "authorities" talk to each other.

What if there was a better way? What if there was a way that took less time but gave you the same benefits?  Would you be interested?

Maybe you are retired or have a leisurely schedule that makes the 150 minutes a week quite realistic. But whether you are a busy mom with toddlers and with many responsibilities, or you are a time-warping traveling salesman, or just a regular family man with a lot to do, you could probably use an exercise routine that took less time. Just guessing.

How about just 1/5 of the time?  Could you get the fitness benefits of a 50-minute workout in just 10 minutes?  And of that 10-minutes, you only exercise intensely for a total of 1 minute? Are you in?

50 minutes or 10 minutes. Your choice.

That is exactly what the research team from McMaster University in Canada found.[4] They took sedentary men and put them into three groups.  The first group of 9 did sprint interval training (SIT), which entailed a 2-minute warm-up followed by three 20-second all-out sprints with 2 minutes of rest between, followed by a 3-minute cool-down. Ten minutes total. The second group did 45-minutes of moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) with the same warm-up and cool-down periods. The third group of 6 guys got to be the non-exercising control group. The exercise sessions were 3 days a week. So the total time commitment for the MICT group was the recommended 150 minutes and for the SIT group it was 30 minutes. That was it. Just 30 minutes for the WHOLE WEEK.

After 12 weeks when they tested peak oxygen uptake, insulin sensitivity, and skeletal muscle mitochondrial content, they found no difference between the two exercising groups, with the same improvement compared to the control group.

That's like cheating.  If you have been getting in your 150 minutes a week and then found out that your neighbor was just as fit, only she did it in 30 minutes a week, you would feel cheated. "Not fair!" you would cry out. And then you would probably switch.

This study, though just published on April 26, 2016, is not quite a new idea. It hasn't been completely accepted by the "authorities" but the results in various trials and studies have been consistent.  A 2014 review of 16 SIT studies done with young adults concluded that "relative to continuous endurance training of moderate intensity, SIT presents an equally effective alternative with a reduced volume of activity."[5]  And there are quite a few more studies and meta-analysis reviews of those studies. But you get the point. High intensity interval training really works.

I remember back in high school some high intensity training for sports. Maybe our coaches were on to something.  (Wind sprints, anyone?  Lines? Push-ups?) They needed to get better performance without taking the whole practice to get you in shape. So sprinting and calisthenics seemed to be in. And turns out that they were right.

Now, it could be that you aren't able to sprint like you used to, or you have too much joint pain to really get going.  So, the moderate activity exercise may be more your speed.  But, if you get on the Hallelujah Diet program you might be able to increase your mobility and reduce your exercise pain just like many other people have done. We also have a new product, called Orgono Silica Powder, which has helped many people rebuild cartilage and maintain normal joint function. We want you to be healthy so that you can live life to its fullest and accomplish God's dreams for you.

Bottom line?  50 minutes or 10 minutes. Your choice.

What has been your experience with high intensity training?  Let us know in the comments below.

References
1.         American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults [Internet]. Available from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp

2.         What We Recommend [Internet]. American Diabetes Association. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/types-of-activity/what-we-recommend.html

3.         Physical Activity and Cancer [Internet]. National Cancer Institute. Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet

4.         Gillen JB, Martin BJ, MacInnis MJ, Skelly LE, Tarnopolsky MA, Gibala MJ. 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. 2016 Apr 26;11(4):e0154075. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075

5.         Gist NH, Fedewa MV, Dishman RK, Cureton KJ. Sprint interval training effects on aerobic capacity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med Auckl NZ. 2014 Feb;44(2):269–79.

Comments

  1. What does a “sprint” look like in these studies?

  2. 2 days a week I have a Silver Sneakers class of 45 min. with cardio, weights, resistance band, stretching, and the other days, i try to walk 20 -30 min, which is about 1 1/2 mi. I don’ t always get all this in every week, and when i don’t, i just don’t worry about it. Most evenings i am in my recliner,or outside on the deck,, some tv and reading.
    I read a 1 year devotional bible Oswald Chambers, excellent and am continuing a monthly Bible study by Ann Graham Lotz. somedays i need to rest and move at a slower pace, because of having Lyme D. 6 yrs ago.
    And to sum it up, people say to me: ” OH you look good” , well i work at it , too.
    God Bless You

  3. Stephen Leonard July 20, 2016

    I can’t seem to figure out how you got 10 minutes when I count the time used in the article comes to less than 7 minutes . And the 2 minute rest between with 3 minute cool down , does the rest mean lightly jogging/walking or sitting in relation to what kind of a cool down ?

    • You may be right. I figure 2 minute warm up, 1 minute sprint time (20 seconds times 3), 4 minute rest between sprints (2 minutes each), and 3 minute cool down at the end. However we do the math, the point of the article was high intensity interval training really works. Other excellent methods of exercise that provide maximum benefit in a short period of work-out time are the rebounder, the fit-10, and the walking sticks. https://www.myhdiet.com/shop/equipment/exercise.html

    • Suzie C. July 26, 2016

      I believe they are figuring the 10 minutes thusly:
      2 minute warmup
      20 second sprint
      2 minute rest
      20 second sprint
      2 minute rest
      20 second sprint
      3 minute cooldown
      —If you line it up like that, above, you can see it clearly adds up to 10 minutes.
      Hope that visualizes better for adding.

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