Intense 1-minute workout you'll need this season
Alixandra Caole Vila (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2014 - 11:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Holidays mean delicious food coming to tempt your craving appetite once again.

Letting one’s usual guard down for the festivities coupled with the stress brought by the myriad of activities, many are put at risk, particularly those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other existing heart and blood conditions. Therefore, Christmas is not the time to make an excuse about not having the time to work out.

If you are too sluggish to do the seven-minute exerxise recommended by Human Performance Institute in Orlando last year, how about trying this one-minute intense workout?

A new study conducted by McMaster University in Ontario claims that you only need three minutes a week to improve endurance and lower blood pressure.

While National Guidelines suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, the study revealed that all you need is an intense one minute exercise within a ten-minute workout to stimulate the physiological changes you need to improve health of anyone, including those who are overweight.

In conducting the study, 14 people with sedentary lifestyles were put on a six-week exercise program. Before going through the program, the researchers measured the participants’ blood pressure and blood sugar levels. They were also tested for aerobic endurance to make sure that their bodies could take the intense activities.

The program includes using only stationary exercise bikes. For three times a week, they were tasked to pedal as intense as they could for 20 seconds. Each 20-second intense pedaling is followed by 2-minute slow pedaling. The exercise is repeated for 10 minutes, leading to a total of one minute of intense pedaling for each session.

By the end of the six-week program, the participants’ endurance level  improved by an average of 12 percent. Their blood pressure has also lowered and their power cells had increased.

No stationary bikes? Not a big problem. The researchers also recommend sprinting down the stairs or high knees running for 20 seconds as an alternative to pedaling stationary bikes.

The study was published in the journal PLOS One.


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