If you’re already worried about burning off those extra holiday calories, but aren’t sure how you're going to find time to do it, here’s an idea. New research suggests working harder for shorter durations may be just as beneficial as longer, less strenuous workouts.
“What's interesting is they actually found that with very short bouts of really intense activity you could see some substantial improvement in your fitness," said Dr. Susan Joy with Cleveland Clinic.
Colorado State researchers asked volunteers to pedal as fast as possible on a stationary bike, set on the highest resistance, for five 30 second intervals. In-between intervals the riders pedaled slowly for 4 minutes with little resistance.
It turns out all of the riders burned an extra 200 calories in spite of only strenuously working out for 2.5 minutes. Researchers believe participating in powerful, but brief bouts of exercise could help in keeping a healthy weight.
The study’s findings were presented at “The Integrative Biology of Exercise” meeting last month.
NewsChannel 7 Today’s Meredith TerHaar spoke with Mike Walker from Mike Walker Fitness to explain why it works.
He explained that aerobic exercise is a low intensity/long duration activity with an adequate supply of oxygen to the muscles. It literally means: "with oxygen"
Anaerobic exercise is a very high intensity/short duration activity with an insufficient oxygen supply to sustain muscle contractions. It literally means: "without oxygen" Mike says the combination of both types of exercise creates a very efficient and effective workout.
Mike has got some suggestions when it comes to interval training...
1) Always include a 5-10 minute dynamic warm-up
2) Anaerobic intervals should last 20-60 seconds
3) Use Aerobic recovery periods of 2-4 minutes between each high intensity segment.
4) Limit total duration of HIIT to 30-60 minutes
5) Always vary your routine!
He also recommends speaking with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
To see the full interview with Mike Walker, watch the video attached.