Scientists suggest short term high-intensity training (HIT) is best. In other words, the routine I've clung to for the past 8 years — running slowly for about an hour a day — is a time waster.
I should be doing short bursts of intense workouts and take short breaks.
Apparently, the HIT method produces the same results of long endurance training. PhysOrg reports:
"We have shown that interval training does not have to be 'all out' in order to be effective," says Professor Martin Gibala. "Doing 10 one-minute sprints on a standard stationary bike with about one minute of rest in between, three times a week, works as well in improving muscle as many hours of conventional long-term biking less strenuously."
The Canadian scientists aren't sure why this HIT program works, but think it has to do with the fact that HIT stimulates the same molecular signals that endurance training does.
Whatever it is, the HIT program takes less time and less effort than traditional exercise. If 10 minutes of exercise really can produce the same results that 10 hours of moderate training can, then the researchers could start a new exercise fad.