To the elation of the rest of us, exercise physiologists have begun uncovering a plethora of benefits associated with short bouts of intense physical activity.
In a new paper authored by researchers at the University of Texas, it was determined that just four seconds of vigorous physical activitycontribute to improved strength, fitness, heart health, and longevity.
The data, which was published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, went on to posit that outcomes were the most profound among middle-aged and older participants.
When we consume sufficient amounts of fatty foods, butter, grease, and oil we increase the levels of triglycerides in our blood.
Triglycerides are the most common kind of fat found in the human body, and a surplus of them have been linked to several metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.
In the new research, brief but strenuous workout regimens dramatically reduced the presence of triglycerides in the bloodstream of the study pool.
“Exercise improves health. Usually, what you do today improves your health tomorrow,” Edward Coyle, professor of kinesiology and health education at the University explained in a media release.
“So when you do very intense exercise like this, even though it’s not much exercise at all, it still is a stimulus to the muscle… it improves the muscles’ ability to take triglycerides out of the bloodstream — burning them directly, increasing the fat oxidation.”
The research began with a crop of competitive athletes at the university’s human performance lab. Each performed on specialized stationary bicycles with no resistance. The vast majority of these fit subjects achieved their maximum power after just two seconds of pedaling.
Dr. Coyle suspected that non-athletes would require about 4 seconds to stimulate aerobic and muscle systems to a comparable degree.
After recruiting 39 out-of-shape men and women between the ages of 50 and 68 who had no history of illness, Coyle found his suspicion to be correct. Their aerobic fitness, muscular capacity and mass, arterial flexibility, and their ability to perform “activities of daily living,” were enhanced after the study period.
This isn’t the first study to support high-intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT.
Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York who is a major proponent of exercise snacking, recently said that the new paper, “could be good news for the many sedentary adults who have limited time in their day and may not be able to get to a gym. Of course, the caveat is that the exercise was an all-out effort.”
Exercise snacking requires subscribers to complete distinct minutes of physical activity separated by one minute of rest before each meal.
Read more about it here.