The next be workout fad may just be the shortest workout ever: one-minute interval training. If what a new study suggests is correct, it’s nearly as effective as working out hardcore for 45-minutes.
Now, keeping this in perspective, if you are training for endurance, this will never do. But for those who work a lot, like me, and do not have all that much time in the day, this new exercise regimen could be the new fitness fad that we’ve all been seeking.
Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario found that an intensive one-minute exercise that breaks a sweat, commonly called interval exercises, offers the same health benefits as a more aggressive 45-minute workout.
To test the theory, researchers studied 25 younger adults who were all listed as out of shape. They measured blood sugar levels and aerobic fitness levels of the young men before conducting the study.
The study group was then divided into three separate groups. The first group was to maintain status quo with little exercise, acting as the control group. The second group began undergoing a 45-minute workout daily on a rotary bike. The third group underwent interval training in 60-second increments on a rotary bike, pedaling slow for 20 seconds, rapidly for 20 seconds and slow again for 20 seconds.
The study lasted 12 weeks. At the conclusion, the participants had their blood sugar, aerobic fitness and muscle levels checked again. The two groups that worked out on a schedule showed improved insulin levels and endurance levels at a comparative rate to suggest that each exercise offered similar benefits, regardless of whether it spanned one minute or 45.
“If you are an elite athlete, then obviously incorporating both endurance and interval training into an overall program maximizes performance,” wrote the lead author. “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.”