Short Bursts of High-Intensity Exercise for Cardiovascular Health

A recent study shows that three rounds of 20-second, high-intensity activity interspersed with two minutes of low-intensity activity three times a week may provide the same cardiovascular and insulin-sensitivity benefits as traditional moderate-intensity endurance training. This means that for just three minutes of high-intensity activity a week, you can improve your cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity.


Cardiorespiratory fitness is an important element of optimal health and can decrease the risk of many chronic diseases. Improved insulin sensitivity means that the body is more efficient at using insulin to metabolize glucose. Individuals who are overweight or who struggle with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes can especially benefit from incorporating high-intensity interval training into their weekly routines.


Because of the short time it requires to see these benefits, this study easily dismisses the claim “I have no time to exercise,” and provides evidence that short, high-intensity workouts can reap the same rewards as moderate-intensity workouts that are five times longer.


Consult your physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercise program.



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