The One-Minute Workout
Could it be true?
Well, yes. Sort of. With a caveat or two. But still, it’s certainly more fitness bang for your workout buck, so to speak.
A study from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada finds that just 1 minute of sprinting, along with 9 minutes of light exercise, leads to similar improvements in health and fitness as a 50-minute workout at a moderate pace.
That’s 40 extra minutes in your day.
The study team assigned 25 men to either a sprint interval workout or an endurance workout. They exercised 3 times a week for 12 weeks on a stationary bicycle.
The sprint workout consisted of warming up for 2 minutes, sprinting all-out for 20 seconds, recovering at a slow pace for 2 minutes, sprinting for 20 seconds, recovering again for 2 minutes, sprinting for a last 20 seconds and cooling down for 3 minutes.
The endurance workout consisted of warming up for 2 minutes, riding at a moderate pace for 45 minutes and cooling down for 3 minutes.
After the 12-week program, the two training groups showed similar improvements in aerobic fitness -- both groups had a 19% improvement on the VO2 peak test, which measures the peak amount of oxygen consumed by the body per 30 seconds of exercise.
The two groups also had similar improvements in a test of insulin sensitivity, which measures how well the body responds to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
For those of us who want to be fit but don’t want to spend all day at the gym (or are sticklers for efficiency), this seems to offer a viable, fast-track option.