So you’re trying to get fit, but you find yourself running short on time. What do you do? You could skip your workout for that day, vowing to do twice as many sit-ups and squats the next day, or you could simply give it everything you have for the short amount of time that you have. According to a new Canadian study working out for as little as 10 minutes per day could be just as effective as 45 minutes at a steady pace on the treadmill.
So what is this wonder workout? The study looked specifically at sprint interval training (SIT) and looked to find out how it stacked up when compared to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) over a prolonged period of time. The study enlisted 25 men and divided the participants into three groups – the control group, a MICT group, and a SIT group.
Three times a week for twelve weeks, the group doing MICT rode stationary exercise bikes for 50 minutes – two minutes of warming up, 45 minutes at 70 percent of their maximum heart rate, and three minutes of cool down. The SIT group spent 10 minutes doing a sprint interval training workout that involved a light warm up for two minutes, and then alternating between 20 second sprints and two minutes at a slow pace.
At the end of the study the men who were exercising for just 10 minutes showed the same fitness improvements as the men who had exercised for 45 minutes – proving that just 10 minutes of sprint interval training is just as good for increasing cardiovascular fitness as a much longer period of moderate-intensity continuous training.