Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Can you get fit on 3 minutes of exercise?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Can you get fit on 3 minutes of exercise?

Back in late February of 2012, I had a post up about a programme on BBC that showed the benefits of exercise. The programme which was part of the BBC Horizon science series claimed that new research had showed that a few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, could deliver many of the health and fitness benefits that hours of conventional exercise would do. However, it suggested that the amount of benefit you get may well depend on your genes.

This hour long programme is now on YouTube and can be seen above. It would seem that people respond to exercise in very different ways. In one international study 1,000 people were asked to exercise four hours a week for 20 weeks. Their aerobic fitness was measured before and after starting this regime and the results were striking. Although 15% of people made huge strides (so-called "super-responders"), 20% showed no real improvement at all ("non-responders")....i.e. the exercise they were doing was not making them any aerobically fitter.

However even for "non-responders", the high intensity training regime seems to improve insulin sensitivity by an average of 24% and prevent the onset of diabetes.

For anyone with an interest in exercise, weight loss or even their own general health, it's well worth watching.

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