Six Minutes And You're Done!

by DavalosMcCormack on March 17, 2010

Okay everyone, gather round.  I have some really good news for you.  You know how we are always telling you to run or walk or go to the gym, dance or play a sport at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes, and more would be better? Well, I just found out that that’s all phooey!  You don’t have to exercise for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  The guys in the kinesiology department at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada – who study the effects of motion on the body – say all you need is 6 minutes – three times a week!

Six minutes! That’s just about the same amount of time it takes to boil two eggs! Or make a decent cup of tea.


Imagine all the gyms and sports clubs closing due to the lack of people participating in those 30 minute ab classes.  How about all those dance classes, squash courts, and swimming pools becoming idle, because everyone can get all the exercise they need in just 6 minutes…gee you could even brush your teeth while you are doing your 6 minute regime!

The new study was published in the Journal of Physiology. The lead author of the study, Professor Gibala, says by alternating short bursts of intense activity with brief rest periods participants experience the same benefits as traditional types of long term exercise, and they do it in less time and with less overall exercise.  Wow!

Interval training is a method of exercise where you make an  “all out” effort, like a really intense sprint followed by walking, but this new study showed that interval training does not have to be “so extreme” to  be effective.  That means us ordinary folks can benefit from a less intense effort and still reap the abs!

Professor Gibala put a group of 10 students on stationary bikes and had them ride for 50 minutes at a moderate pace five days a week, while another group of 10 were told to grind through four to six sets of 30 second sprints on the bikes just three days a week.  Both groups had equal gains in “blood vessel elasticity,”  which indicates reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.  This supported an earlier study Prof Gibala did which showed that both groups increased their energy levels which resulted in longer sustained performance.

So there you have it, and it’s simple to recreate your own routine into an interval training session.  Whatever you do, whether it’s jogging, biking or swimming, just alternate one minute sprints followed by one minute of coasting.  Just 6 minutes, imagine, you will never again be able to say, “I just can’t find the time to exercise!”

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