It’s a common refrain: We’d like to exercise more, but we just don’t have the time! Well, we don’t have the time for most kinds of exercise. If this is true of you, then a team of researchers has sort of a good news tortilla wrapped around a filling of bad news: You do, in fact, have time to exercise, because you can fit an optimal exercise routine into a ten-minute window. It will just be highly unpleasant!
Backing up previous research, a new study took sedentary subjects and subjected them to two different exercise regimens: A standard 45-minute one where subjects partook of moderate exercise, and sprint interval training. The latter is catching on among fitness types and is essentially mixing long periods of moderate exercise with short, all-out intense exercise. The exact routine was a two-minute warm-up, followed by a twenty-second sprint, and two minutes of moderate exercise, repeated three times, and paired with a three-minute cooldown. Imagine if you were jogging for a few minutes, and then had to sprint away from a bear three times.
The result is that the 45-minute routine and the ten-minute routine yielded similar benefits, despite the latter group doing less exercise and spending less time doing it. Of course, the trade-off is, as we said, you can’t just turn the exercise bike up to 8 and keep pedaling; for this to work, it has to be a complete sprint, putting everything you have and more into it. If you’re not ready to vomit at the end of those twenty seconds, you’re probably doing it wrong. It also is unlikely to substantially change your physique. But look at it this way; at least you’ve finally found the time to exercise. Before you engage, though, make sure you consult your Doctor.