study claims that you can sweat yourself slim in just two and a half minutes each day.A little good news for the reluctant exerciser. A new
Of course, it's not as simple as a quick sprint to catch the bus and you're done.
Researchers at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus are referring to sprint-interval training, a high-impact workout that combines short bursts of intense, heart-pumping activity, followed by longer bouts of less intense exercise and recovery.
It's a regimen popular among athletes looking to train for peak performance and, as the study found, it also burned an additional 200 calories per day in its male participants.
But the good news is that the entire program should take less than a half an hour — making the three-hour Stairmaster pilgrimage a relic of the past.
"Research shows that many people start an exercise program but just can't keep it up," the study's lead researcher Kyle Sevits says in a press release. "The biggest factor people quote is that they don't have the time to fit in exercise. We hope if exercise can be fit into a smaller period of time, then they may give exercise a go and stick with it."
Sevits and his team recruited five male volunteers between the ages 25 and 31, all in healthy physical condition.
The volunteers submitted to a series of tests to check their metabolic rate, body composition and heart health.
For several days, volunteers ate a controlled diet to match their exact individual metabolic needs, while researchers calculated how many calories they burned through a series of sedentary activities, like using the computer.
They managed to determine this data through technology that measured everything from air intake to water content analysis.
On one of those days, volunteers were ordered to jump on a stationery bike and pedal as fast as their little feet could carry them for five 30-second intervals.
The exercise would be followed by four-minute bursts of recovery.
When Sevits and crew measured their caloric expenditure later that day, they found that the men had burned an average of 200 extra calories.
To put that in perspective, LiveStrong.com notes that it would require a 160-lb. adult to perform up to 45 minutes of low-impact aerobics or 30 minutes of jogging to burn the same amount of calories.
While high-intensity training is certainly nothing new, the study sheds light on its high potential for weight maintenance.
"Burning an extra 200 calories from these exercises a couple of times a week can help keep away that pound or two that many Americans gain each year," Sevits says.
But before you make plans to modify this evening's gym routine, please consult with a medical professional. High-intensity training is not for everyone, particularly those with a heart or other underlying medical condition that could make it a risky endeavour.
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