This year saw the rise of the short workout. Many studies have emerged proving the benefits of short focused interval workouts over pro-longed one-note physical activity. The upside is your workout may only need to take a couple minutes. The downside? You’ll have to give it your absolute all for those couple minutes!
In a study conducted in May, scientists found that three brief sessions per day of interval-style exercise — consisting of one minute of brisk walking followed by another minute of strolling, repeated six times — allowed people at risk of diabetes to control their blood sugar better than a continuous 30-minute walk. What’s great about these short exercise snippets, is that participants are more eager to do them because they can finish quickly.
But even the short seven minute workout made popular in 2013, has come into question by scientists. Could even shorter workouts be more effective? Scientists developed and tested a one-minute workout this year, with three 20-second intervals of very hard exercise leading to robust improvements in the endurance and health of the study’s overweight, out-of-shape volunteers.
The catch is that in each of these studies, the exertion involved was intense. The volunteers panted and strained, however briefly. The reason for this is that our bodies need to get out of their “comfort zone” even if its for one or five minutes in order to allow improvement in our endurance and physical fitness.