Health Seventeen minutes to better health

Seventeen minutes to better health

Too busy to burn calories?

Well, there’s good news for those of us living life in the fast lane and wanting to get fit.

Just 17 minutes of high-intensity exercise, three times a week, could improve your health
according to research from The University of New England.

PhD candidate Liza Haqq wanted to identify the minimum amount of exercise people needed to achieve health benefits.

Her study examined people who have metabolic syndrome, the precursor to diabetes, hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

“Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors such as excess abdominal weight, high blood pressure, high blood fat levels and elevated glucose,” Ms Haqq said.

Ms Haqq trained participants for 17 minutes, three times a week, for 12 weeks.

The training protocol included a minute of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that asked participants to push themselves to 90 to 95 percent of their maximum rate of oxygen consumption.

Her study confirmed that short bursts of HIIT are the key to achieving greater health benefits, with participants significantly improving their peak oxygen consumption.

“This signifies a massive improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness and indicates better lung capacity, stronger and efficient heart and more oxygenated blood, which enhances skeletal muscle performance,” Ms Haqq said.

Participants also improved their ability to keep performing against muscle fatigue and reduced their waist circumference, a measure directly related to insulin resistance.

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