Introducing the one-minute workout: How just 60 seconds of intense exercise three times a week can improve endurance and lower blood pressure
Just three minutes of all-out intermittent exercise per week has been found to improve endurance and lower blood pressure.
A new study from from McMaster University in Ontario, published in the journal PLOS One, shows how one minute of intense exercise (during a ten-minute workout three times a week) stimulated physiological changes linked to improved health in overweight adults.
After six weeks, 14 overweight male and female participants had improved their endurance levels by about 12per cent, and had better blood pressure levels, as well as improved muscle activity.
Scroll down for video
A new study from from McMaster University in Ontario shows how one minute of intense exercise (during a ten-minute workout three
times a week) improved health in overweight adults
Interestingly, the male volunteers also had significantly improved their blood-sugar control, but the female volunteers had not.
For the research, participants were asked to warm-up on stationary bikes for two minutes.
After the warm-up, participants biked as hard as they could for three 20 second intervals followed by two minutes of slow pedaling, before cooling down for three minutes on the bike.
They did this three times a week, coming out to 30 minutes of exercise a week.
The exercise does not need to be cycling, however. Sprinting up stairs in 20-second bursts, for one minute, or even high knees running hard in one place would also work.
High intensity interval training gained mainstream popularity last year, after the seven-minute workout was unveiled by Human Performance Institute in Orlando.
Many also credit Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata for coming up with the The Tabata Protocol: 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of resting, repeated many times.
And if 20 second intervals of intense exercise for one-minute seems too tough, don't think you can cheat by halving the intervals to six ten-second efforts - this would not necessarily provide the same benefits, according to Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University.
Although 'maybe if you did more of them, it might work,' he told the New York Times.