Do you want to exercise, but don’t feel you have enough time?  Many people do today.  Our hectic daily schedules and a lack of time are frequently barriers to exercising regularly.


A recent study found intense exercise for 15-20 minutes a day using interval exercise may be as beneficial as more extended workouts done in conventional “long-duration” style.   Earlier research studies determined that shortened periods of low-volume high intensity training may represent an alternative to endurance training to improve metabolic health and reduce the risk for chronic diseases.  Most exercise experts “recommend that children and teenagers exercise one hour every day and adults get a weekly minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity.”


Fifteen minutes of vigorous activity (jogging, aerobic dancing and jumping rope could provide significant health benefits.  The study’s findings suggest that shorter periods of intense, high-interval training may prove to be an alternative to endurance training and enhance health and decreasing the risk for developing chronic disease.


The researchers’ primary focus of this study was to examine the effect high intensity training had on muscles related to shorter periods of exercise.


In particular, the exercise periods were less than 30 minutes, and despite the reduction of time spent exercising, the  training was still relatively ‘time efficient’ in that only approximately10–15 minutes of exercise was performed over a 20–30 min period during each training session.


Other groups have shown that lower intensity HIT may be effective for inducing metabolic adaptations but they included longer training sessions usually lasting more than an hour.


The researchers evaluated their hypothesis that their training model would allow enough exercise to improve muscle function and exercise performance like those observed in longer endurance based exercise training.


The researchers have determined in earlier studies that high-intensity interval training (HIT) causes several physiological changes similar to traditional endurance training, despite a low total exercise volume. For example, 2 weeks of HIT was similar to 2 weeks of endurance training in leading to increases in exercise.


Also, low-volume HIT can improved metabolism and enhance circulation (as measured by changes in the walls of arteries).


Perhaps the most interesting and promising aspect of the findings is the amount of exercise and time spent were 90% and 75%  lower, comparing high intensity-interval training to endurance training.  This suggests that HIT is a potent and time-efficient strategy to changes healthy changes in muscles, while also improving functional exercise capacity.