If you've ever wondered how short of a workout is too short, a new study published in the journal PloS One has shown that ten minutes of exercise—including one minute of intense exercise—provides nearly the same cardiovascular benefits as 45 minutes of moderate exercise. Let that sink in for a second. That's ten minutes versus 45 minutes. (Related: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training)
For the study, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario looked at three different groups of men (with plans to study us ladies later on) over the course of 12 weeks: people who didn't exercise; people who cycled on a stationary bike for 45 minutes three times a week; and people who did 10-minute cycling bursts, in which one of those minutes was all out, three times a week. Keep in mind, all of the men were equally out of shape when recruited to participate, so they all started at the same fitness level. (Psst...Have you tried this HIIT Bodyweight Workout?)
The results are pretty unbelievable. Researchers found that just 60 seconds of strenuous exertion can be as successful at improving cardiovascular fitness as 45 minutes of moderate exercise.
So how does this translate to the real world? Pretty awesomely, TBH. For mere mortals and/or weekend warriors such as yourselves, this is a game changer. You don't need to feel tethered to a long run for a good workout anymore; in fact, you'd be better off mixing in some kick ass burpees and squat jumps. And in a world where time always seems to be in short supply, this development will potentially free up more minutes to take care of yourself in other ways too.