Short and intense exercise lasting only for a few minutes have recently been found to extend one's lifespan. It spells good news, especially for those who have hectic schedules.
According to a study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Duke University, this amazing benefit of high-intensity interval training can be enjoyed whether it is performed in just a single session or through multiple "bursts" throughout the day.
Basically, its findings confirm the common belief that for physical activity to be advantageous to health, it must jog up a person's heart rate for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Fortunately, short-duration workouts are perfect and sustainable for busy professionals. Instead of going out of their way to head to workout facilities like the gym, they can perform simple routines while at home or in the workplace.
Details of the published version of the study can be found in the electronic Journal of the American Heart Association.
Customize A High-Intensity Interval Training Session
To open a short burst training session, warm up for three to five minutes through brisk walking, cycling, bouncing on a trampoline or exercise ball, or swimming a couple of laps. Choose an exercise with an intensity that won't be too exhausting.
Next, stretch the muscle group that will work the most during the session. For instance, focus only on the leg muscles if planning to go for a run. Do this for five to 10 minutes.
Then for 60 seconds, exercise as intensely as you can. It should be done in a manner that's so fast and so hard that it can keep a person from being able to talk.
First timers are advised to slow down after 10 to 15 seconds, especially if they have no prior experience in sports or physical fitness. Endurance will gradually increase as one continues to do these short bursts of exercise three to four days in a week.
Don't just stop moving. Wind down by breathing slowly and by exercising at half the previous intensity to allow muscle recovery. Continue until breathing returns to normal.
Repeat these steps for as many times as possible and close the session with a final burst. It should be the most intense of all.
Finally, cool down for about 10 minutes with slow walking or gentle swimming. A report suggests to rest for 48 hours in high-intensity interval training sessions to enjoy fat busting and growth hormone-producing benefits.
Examples Of Activities For Short Burst Training
A separate report states that short bursts of exercise can be done using common types of aerobic or resistance routines such as swimming, rowing, cycling, running, calisthenics, stepping, and weight training.
Even daily activities such as gardening, washing the car, and dancing can all stimulate one's heart rate.
Before trying high-intensity interval training, be sure to consult a doctor. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions are recommended to try less intense routines in shorter intervals.