For those of you who missed the Horizon program towards the end of Feb and are wondering what everyone has been talking about here’s your second chance to find out what all the hype is about!!

Click here for BBC article

For those of you that don’t have the time to look at it but just want the answers, here goes:

Is it true, can 3 minutes of exercise really make us fitter?

According to the research carried out by Professor Jamie Timmons and others, YES it can.

 “Three minutes of exercise a week have delivered, on average, improvements in line with the benefits of several hours of conventional exercise such as walking or cycling a week.”

What specific “fitness benefits” have been evidenced?

“Endurance fitness, improved aerobic capacity (a measure of the maximal capacity of your heart, lungs and muscles) and an improvement in the body’s response to insulin which is need to control your blood sugar during eating”

How is it working in such a short space of time?

The truth is they don’t know  but it is theorised that “HIT cycling really vigorously uses not just the leg muscles, but also the upper body including arms and shoulders so that 80% of the body’s muscle cells can be activated, compared to 20-40% for walking or moderate intensity jogging or cycling.”

If this is all true, why is the current public health advice on exercise still 30 mins of moderate activity 5 times per week?

“Although the weight of evidence is building up, conventional wisdom takes time to overturn and longer term studies are needed. In addition, as well as ‘fitness’, public health advice also reflects concerns about obesity. Hours of aerobic exercise a week can “burn” 2000-4000 K-calories helping, it is argued, to battle against obesity.”

So where is the catch?

“For some people at risk of having vascular disease, any stress might be a problem, but there is no compelling data that HIT is any more dangerous than that of normal exercise and it has been used in patients with metabolic and cardiovascular disease.”

If you are not accustomed to extremely intense exercise, it will take a while to build up to the required level of intensity to match the research results!

Why do I need to keep my gym membership?

Although the above benefits cannot be understated (especially if they continue to evidence similar results over time) cardio vascular performance is only one component of fitness. We must not lose sight of the benefits of Physical Strength, Flexibility, Co-ordination, Timing, Balance, Energy expenditure, Psychological well-being and event specific fitness. And if those are not a host of positive reasons to keep up your gym membership up then consider the fact that you will be keeping me and the rest of your friendly fitness professionals in work!!!!

~ by admin on January 1, 2017.

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