For some, exercise is addictive – a way to get that much-needed physical and mental boost. For others, it’s a necessary evil.
If you fall into the latter camp and don’t often find the time to move (whether because you’re super busy or simply cba), you’ll be pleased to know that researchers have discovered a 10-minute workout, which done three days a week could help you reap some proper fitness benefits.
A new study from the University of Texas found high-intensity cycling in extremely short (we’re talking four-second) bursts – followed by longer rests – can improve your health and performance, as well as endurance and power.
What’s the workout then?
Get on your bike. Young adult volunteers participated in high-intensity cycling three times a week for eight weeks.
They cycled at maximum effort for four seconds, then rested for 15 to 30 seconds – and then they’d begin another four-second sprint. Each sprint-rest bout was repeated up to 30 times in a single workout, for a total of 10 minutes.
By the end of the trial period, the participants had increased their maximum oxygen consumption, indicating a life in aerobic exercise endurance. Their anaerobic power (strength) and total blood volume increased as well.
Remzi Satiroglu, lead author of the study from the University of Texas at Austin, said both athletic performance and cardiovascular health can improve with a boost in blood volume.
The results may encourage people to exercise because the total workout time is so short, he explained. ″[People] often claim they don’t have enough time to squeeze it in. We offer people a workout that only take 10 minutes total and shows results when completed three times per week,” he said.
In the UK, people are advised to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity, activity a week. Even if you’re not doing that much activity, physiotherapists generally recommend that if anything is better than nothing – and you should build up your fitness over time.
These 10-minute bursts of cycling could be a great way to achieve that.