Recent research shows 2.5 minutes of activity within a high-intensity interval training session will burn 200 extra calories through the day.
Many people want to get in shape, especially as we head towards the ‘New Year’s Resolution’ phase of the year, but they can’t (or won’t) fit in a 30-minute workout two-to-three times a week. So what if there was a way to exercise for less time but still gain excellent health benefits?
Research conducted by Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus shows that just 2.5 minutes of hard work has a calorie-burning benefit that lasts the entire day.
In conjunction with a strict diet tailored for each volunteer, the subjects were asked to perform a sprint interval workout that involved going as fast as possible on a stationary bicycle at a high resistance for five 30-second periods, each separated by four-minute periods of recovery in which they cycled slowly with very little resistance.
The results? Calorie tracking showed that the volunteers burned an average of an extra 200 calories during the day, despite spending just 2.5 minutes engaged in hard exercise.
We’ve discussed this ‘afterburner’ effect before of course, but this new research helps show that less can, in fact, be more when it comes to cardio exercise. You may also find that your VO2 Max increases, a common and much-welcomed side-effect of interval sprints.
Maintaining 95-100% effort for 30 seconds might not be possible for everyone, but the benefits of high-intensity interval training continue to stack up, even when the cumulative effort is only 2.5 minutes long.