“I don’t have time to workout,” may no longer be a valid excuse – that is, if you buy the results of a new study.
You may have seen the headlines recently about the “one-minute workout.” Researchers in Canada found that a minute’s worth of strenuous exercise is just as beneficial as 45 minutes of moderate activity.
The study comes from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Researchers looked at 25 out-of-shape young men and divided them into groups.
The first group rode the stationary bike for 45 minutes at moderate intensity. The second group exercised for just 10 minutes, however, they pedaled as fast as they could during three, 20-second spurts. A third group did not exercise at all.
After 12 weeks of exercise, the study concluded those who took part in the high intensity, interval workouts, “improved indices of cardiometabolic health to the same extent as traditional endurance training in sedentary men, despite a five-fold lower exercise volume and time commitment.”
“My reaction is a little bit of, first, surprise,” said exercise physiologist Dr. Iñigo San Millán who serves as director of sports performance at CU-Boulder’s Sports Medicine Performance Center.
“I’m surprised to see that only one minute per day increases 30 percent your oxygen consumption [and] increases 50 percent your mitochondrial consumption,” San Millán added.
San Millán also had a problem with the message behind the “one-minute workout.”
“What we do here in our program, we’re trying to keep people active and moving,” San Millán said. “And just the message of it, ‘hey you know what, just exercise three minutes a week and you will be fine.’ That’s a big concern I’m having as well.”
San Millán conceded that any activity is better than none at all, but he cautioned against high intensity exercise for certain people.
“For people who haven’t exercised in recent memory - sedentary people – it’s not easy to do very high intensity exercise,” San Millán said. “There’s a much higher risk of injuries.”