'No time to exercise' is no excuse, study shows

September 19, 2006

Hamilton, ON. September 19, 2006 - Those who maintain that the busy pace of life offers no time to exercise have just run out of another excuse, unless of course they can't spare three minutes to exercise.

The "catch" is that the exercise consists of short bursts of intense effort separated by a few minutes of recovery, meaning a single training session lasts about 20 min. However, a new study published in the Journal of Physiology shows that performing three of those sessions each week provides the same benefits as that achieved by up to two hours of daily moderate exercise.

"The most striking finding from our study was the remarkable remarkably similar adaptations induced by two such diverse training strategies," says Martin Gibala, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University.

If the study sounds familiar it is, partly: Last year, Gibala and his team made headlines when they suggested that a few minutes of high-intensity exercise could be as effective as an hour of moderate activity. However, their previous work did not directly compare sprint versus endurance training. Gibala's latest study did just that.

Sixteen young men performed six training sessions over two weeks. Eight subjects performed between four and six 30-second bursts of "all out" cycling separated by four minutes of recovery during each training session. The other eight subjects performed 90-120 minutes of continuous moderate-intensity cycling. Total training time commitment including recovery was 2.5 hours in the sprint group, whereas the endurance group performed 10.5 hours of total exercise over two weeks. Both groups showed similar improvements in exercise performance and the muscle's ability to resist fatigue.

"Our study shows confirms that interval-based exercise is indeed a very time-efficient training strategy," says Gibala. "It is a demanding type of training and requires a high level of motivation, however it might be the perfect option for those who say they have no time to exercise."

For weight-conscious exercisers who are concerned that high-intensity training doesn't burn as many calories as long-duration exercise, Gibala says: "People forget that if you do a 30-second hard spurt your body continues to burn calories during recovery; just because you have physically stopped racing doesn't mean the effects of the workout are over."
-end-
McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 120,000 in 128 countries.

McMaster University

Related Calories Articles from Brightsurf:

Calories by the clock? Squeezing most of your calories in early doesn't impact weight loss
Time-restricted eating, which restricts eating to specific hours of the day, did not impact weight among overweight adults with prediabetes or diabetes.

Study pinpoints top sources of empty calories for children and teens
A new study of children and teens found that more than 25% of the calories they consume were considered empty -- those from added sugars and solid fats.

People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories
Short-term cold exposure may help people with brown fat burn 15% more calories than those without, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Consuming extra calories can help exercising women avoid menstrual disorders
Exercising women who struggle to consume enough calories and have menstrual disorders can simply increase their food intake to recover their menstrual cycle, according to a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, and publication in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

People who eat a big breakfast may burn twice as many calories
Eating a big breakfast rather than a large dinner may prevent obesity and high blood sugar, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Calories in popular UK restaurant chain dishes can be 'shockingly high' warn experts
The calorie content of popular starters, sides and desserts served in UK restaurant chains is too high and only a minority meet public health recommendations, finds a University of Liverpool study published in BMJ Open.

Monkeys like alcohol at low concentrations, but probably not due to the calories
Fruit-eating monkeys show a preference for concentrations of alcohol found in fermenting fruit, but do not seem to use alcohol as a source of supplementary calories, according to a study by researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, and the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.

Pregnant women with obesity may not require additional calories for healthy pregnancies
Guidelines for weight gain and caloric intake during pregnancy are not tailored to women with obesity, 2/3 of whom gain excessive weight during pregnancy that poses a risk to mother and child.

Exercising while restricting calories could be bad for bone health
UNC School of Medicine's Maya Styner, MD, led research showing that the combination of cutting calories and exercising can make bones smaller and more fragile in animals, whereas exercise on a full-calorie diet has a positive impact on bone health.

Even in svelte adults, cutting about 300 calories daily protects the heart
In adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, cutting around 300 calories a day significantly improved already good levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other markers.

Read More: Calories News and Calories Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.