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Short bursts of exercise benefit heart

Short bursts of exercise benefit heart

We all know how effective a HIIT workout can be for burning fat long after we've dismounted the treadmill. Those short bursts of high-intensity interval training improve athletic condition and metabolism too.

And now doctors have found that short, sharp exercises can equal a healthy heart.

Scientists from Newcastle University found that two-minute bursts of fitness can begin to reverse heart problems. Looking at a group of 12 diabetes Type 2 patients, the theory was tested. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to obesity and can lead to changes in the heart, which may increase chances of stroke and heart attack.

The test group all had to complete short spells on an exercise bike five times a day for 12 weeks. The bike exercise started at two minutes, with ten seconds being added until the total time was three minutes and 50 seconds.

The results were then compared to another group who had not completed any exercise, and scans showed a marked improvement.

"There is no reason why the benefits should not apply to other people," study leader Professor Michael Trenell advised.

He was quick to point out that longer periods of exercise are equally beneficial to one's health, but wants people to note short bursts shouldn't be disregarded.

"I am not saying short bursts of intense exercise are better than longer spells of moderate exercise – both are good.

"But it can be daunting for some people to contemplate a long period of exercise, so we have shown that short bouts can be effective," he explained.

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