Science and Tech


Got A Minute? Your Workout Might Not Need To Be Much Longer

A quick workout with one minute of sprinting was found to be just as beneficial as a 50-minute, moderately paced workout.
Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 28, 2016

Short on time? Turns out you might not need an hourlong workout to get fit. How does one minute of intense exercise sound? 

A quick caveat to this — the total time commitment was 10 minutes. But researchers in Canada found 10-minute sprint-interval training sessions (with one minute total of actual sprinting) led to the same results as 50-minute workouts at a moderate pace. 

In the sprint, workout participants cycled "all-out" for 20 seconds, and then cycled at 10 percent of that pace for two minutes. They went through this process three times. 

In comparison, participants in the longer, more moderate workout cycled for 45 minutes straight at a pace that got their heart rate to 70 percent of their maximum level. 

We should note, in this experiment, you're definitely choosing between less time and more comfort. 

Some could argue 70 percent of your maximum heart rate is a little slower than a moderate exercise pace. A fitness expert told Livestrong 70 percent is right on the cusp between the slowest rate she advises people to achieve and the mid-level rate. 

With that in mind, you still may be happy to hear participants who sprinted for a short time and those who did a long, moderate workout saw the same cardiometabolic results. 

So if you've been avoiding the gym, give this sprint workout a try. Who knows, one day you could be sprinting for 50 minutes. 

This video includes clips from Livestrong and an image from Getty Images.