Do the 5-minute workouts really work?

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    Time is essential these days or, at least, the lack of it. Studies show that a busy and overworked life has become something like "a symbol of aspirational status." As a result of all this work, the popularity of quick workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or rapid training applications (such as the training application stripes) offer a degree of fitness in just a little over a long commercial rest. But, do they work? And could they be as effective as a more expensive or time-consuming workout?

    Science says yes, at first glance. A 2016 study of sedentary men over 12 weeks examined whether speed interval training (SIT), bursts of 1 minute of intense exercise in a 10-minute routine, could improve insulin sensitivity (by lowering blood sugar blood) and cardiometabolic health. minute training And what do you know, the benefits proved to be similar.

    Michael Joyner, M.D., an exercise researcher at the Mayo Clinic, agrees that short bursts of intense calisthenics can help a lot get in shape. "A training of 5 to 10 minutes, if done consistently, along with building cardio in your daily life doing things like walking the dog and climbing the stairs whenever you can, everything can add up to get in shape. I'm not in enough form to do Iron Man, but definitely fit, "says Joyner.

    He says that the simple act of contracting muscles can help improve insulin sensitivity and improve heart function. "When your heart rate rises and blood pumps through the heart vessels to the muscles, the blood that flows through the vessels literally brushes the lining of the blood vessels, causing the cells lining the blood vessels to release substances. They promote short and long-term relaxation of the vessels and inhibit the formation of plaques. This is good for the health of the heart and protects against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the artery), "explains Joyner.

    Glenn Gaesser, professor of exercise science and health promotion and director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University, studied how young adults engaged in short bursts of high-intensity interval exercise and speed interval exercises they had similar results in terms of fat loss and cardiovascular health as those who did longer workouts, or "steady state exercise."

    "We have found that sessions of only 2 minutes duration, as long as they are moderately intense (which means that you reach at least 70 percent of your maximum heart rate) performed once per hour during a work day that means 8, 2 minutes energetic walks, for example) are beneficial for blood glucose control. This could be useful for people at work who do not have time for a 'real' workout, "says Gaesser.

    Jeff Halevy, a health and fitness expert from New York City who runs Halvey Life, an integrated health, and wellness gym, says the benefits you can get from shorter or longer workouts depend on your personal goals. Health & Fitness.

    "If you're working to improve cognitive ability or mental well-being, then 20 minutes of continuous exercise is your ideal point," says Halevy. This review of 30 studies, conducted at a moderate pace for 20 minutes, 3 times a week, can help prevent depression and help prevent cognitive decline. "If you seek to improve your quality of life by improving your body's ability to metabolize oxygen (improving brain, heart and lung function) and increase your metabolism, 5-10 minutes could help on days when you can not do more," Halevy says.

    But is one option better than the other? "As with most things in life, the answer is in the middle," says Halevy. "Some days you can go out with 5 minutes, some days you can do 20 minutes, if you want to do something for BDNF that is more like Miracle Grow for your brain (BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, improves brain function) you will need a bit More time, exercise and resistance training. "

    Similarly, Gaesser suggests "mixing things" by alternating 30-minute workouts at an almost constant intensity, alternating high and low-intensity speeds of 30 minutes every few minutes and short 10-minute workouts. It also recommends a 3 to 5-minute warm-up and chills before and after each workout.

    And if you want to put your body in shape, Joyner says you'll still need to watch what you eat. "Most of us do not get enough physical activity to get over a bad diet," says Joyner. "But low chronic levels of physical activity can provide a cushion if someone has a bad day."

    Ultimately, all three experts agree that exercising somehow on most days, even if only for 5 minutes, is always better than doing nothing. "People tend to focus on what they can not do instead of what they can do," says Joyner. "Do not think you need a magical training, the important thing is that you find something that works for you."