Saturday, February 27, 2010
No time to exercise? No problem. Intense interval training could slash hours off your workout
"People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse. Some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week's workout into less than an hour. Those regimens - also called interval training - were originally developed for Olympic athletes and thought to be too strenuous for normal people. But in recent years, studies in older people and those with health problems suggest many more people might be able to handle it. If true, that could revolutionize how officials advise people to exercise - and save millions of people hours in the gym every week. It is also a smarter way to exercise, experts say. "High-intensity interval training is twice as effective as normal exercise," said Jan Helgerud, an exercise expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. "This is like finding a new pill that works twice as well ... we should immediately throw out the old way of exercising." Studies on intense training have been published in sports medicine journals and have largely been based on young, healthy people. Experts say more studies are needed on how older and less fit populations handle this type of exercise before it can be recommended more widely"