We all know someone who works out more than an hour a day. But does it really take that much time to reap the benefits of working out? No, according to a new study that says just 20 minutes a day of high intensity workouts can do the trick, reported the Huffington Post on October 10.
Commissioned by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the new study showed that Tabata-style workouts performed for only 20 minutes result in measurable cardio benefits. These types of workouts involve alternating high intensity workouts with short periods of rest. Intrigued by the increasing popularity of these fitness sessions, the researchers developed a plan to test out the benefits.
The study involved administering a 20-minute, full-body, Tabata-style workout to fit, healthy volunteers. During their workouts, the volunteers met "established industry guidelines for improving cardio fitness and modifying body composition," according to ACE.
Worried about burning fat? The athletes in the study burned an average of 15 calories per minute. However, the researchers emphasize that you need to work hard to gain those benefits.
“There is no such thing as a miracle workout,” ACE Chief Science Officer Dr. Cedric Bryant said in a statement. “While Tabata-inspired workouts are shorter, they are also extremely tough. This study showed that fit participants perceived the workout as hard, therefore these type of workouts could be demotivating or too challenging for those not as accustomed to strenuous bouts of exercise.”
And the researchers emphasize you need to be in good shape.
"It could be dangerous for [non-exercisers] to be working this hard," John Porcari, Ph.D., head of the Clinical Exercise Physiology Program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, told ACE. "Before people even attempt Tabata they probably need to have a pretty decent baseline level of fitness."
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