- Short periods of high-intensity exercise found to be better at warding off heart disease
- Longer periods of less strenuous activity proved less effective at cutting fat that lingers in blood after eating
It sounds like a couch potato’s dream: two-and-a-half minutes of exercise could be just as good as a 90-minute run.
Research suggests that short, sharp bursts of exercise are better at warding off heart disease than much longer – but less strenuous – sessions.
Academic Stuart Gray asked a group of men aged between 18 and 35 to either do high-intensity sprints on an exercise bike or walk for half an hour on a treadmill.
Those on the exercise bike pedalled as hard as they could for 30 seconds, rested for up to four minutes and then repeated the pattern four times.
This meant that, in all, they did two and a half minutes of exercise strenuous enough to make them sweat and leave them out of breath.
The others walked at the sort of brisk pace recommended in Government health guidelines.