Fitness researchers these days are doing an excellent job in trying to find ways to make us all exercise more efficiently. In a new study published in November 2014, researchers again show the benefits of brief, but intense exercise on heart health.

This study investigated a training protocol that involved only 3 minutes of intermittent exercise per week, with a total training time of 30 minutes (including warm up and cool down) for the week. Each workout session lasted 10 minutes and included only 1 minute of intense movement.

Although the study group only included 14 participants (all were overweight or obese), improved indices of cardiometabolic health were observed.

Take Home Point

While this study is by no means conclusive, it adds to the growing pool of evidence that supports the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). We are learning that shorter, but more intense bouts of exercise may be better in many circumstances than prolonged low to moderate intensity exercise training for heart health and subcutaneous fat loss (fat underneath the skin). If you have not tried a HIIT workout, I encourage you to give one a try! These workouts are tough, but you will be amazed that you will feel like you performed a 30 minute workout in only 10 minutes. The benefits over time are also quite profound.