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Too Good To Be True?

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The new findings suggesting that one can get the toned, athletic body they desire without doing the cardio that was previously thought necessary is exciting, but is it legitimate? We’ve been taught for years that the only way to burn the requisite number of calories to maintain a streamlined body is to do hours upon hours of cardio workouts. Common knowledge has been that it is necessary to find some form of physicaly activity (boxing, basketball, running, skiing, etc.) that will burn the necessary calories to achieve physical fitness. Most health and fitness experts agree that cardiovascular exercise will improve the body’s ability to deliver the necessary oxygen to all cells within the body and improve the body’s ability to use the oxygen more efficiently. Cardio also is credited with reducing the risk of having a heart attack or of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition it is known to increase the number of neurons in the brain, keeping our thinking sharp. Current recommendations from the American Heart Association are for 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise five times weekly. For many, that is time they don’t have to give and would love the benefits of the long work-out without actually having to put in so much time. Is it possible?
According to some new studies, the actual time needed to achieve the desired benefits could be as little as three minutes a week. Three minutes!! One can’t help but think this is too good to be true. The caveat is that those three minutes have got to be super intense. Studies that were conducted at Ontario’s McMaster University found that those participants who exercised at a much greater level of intensity for a much decreased amount of time reaped just as many positive results as those who exercised for greater periods of time with less intensity.
Further studies reported in the New York Times concluded that one minute of strenuous exercise followed by one minute of recovery repeated ten times resulted in the desirable physical results one could expect from much longer periods of exercise. Obviously, this is great news for the many who want to be physically fit but who can’t seem to fit sustained exercise into their daily routines.