Health benefits from exercise don’t have to come from long bouts of cardio at the gym or around your local high school track. A new study involving teens in Scotland has found that short bursts of high-intensity exercise is best for cardiovascular health.
In the study, researchers split kids into two groups: one doing high-intensity workouts, the other moderate intensity. The high-intensity group did a series of 20-meter sprints over 30 seconds, and the kids in the moderate-intensity group ran steadily for 20 minutes.
By the end of the allotted time of seven weeks, both groups showed real improvements in cardiovascular fitness. Their blood pressure, insulin resistance and body composition all improved. However, what set the high-intensity group apart was that they got the aforementioned health benefits by only doing 15 percent of the exercise time done by the kids in the moderate-intensity group.
As is almost always the case, the researchers said that further research is needed. As for me, I say follow the simple Nike credo: no matter what intensity you do in your exercise, just do it!
(via: USA Today)
April 13th, 2011