To send you out on your weekend, we've got a new way for you to exercise.
New research presented at an exercise conference last week in Colorado found that a few minutes of intense activity scattered between less rigorous stretches of movement can help burn extra calories – more so than other fitness routines.
Maybe the best thing about this method? It's fast.
In the study, which was reported on by HealthDay, men were asked to ride a stationary bike as hard as they could in five 30-second intervals. In between, they lightly pedaled for four minutes.
After 25 minutes, they were done and, even better, burned more calories than usual.
Think of it as the busy person's workout.
Now, there are a few caveats: First, if you're unsure, ask a health provider whether intense exercise is right for you. While their intense outbursts were very short, the men were pedaling as hard as they could – which may not be prudent for everyone. That, of course, is why this workout method is so effective: The harder you work, the more calories you burn.
The data is also preliminary – it hasn't been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal yet.
Finally, there's a difference between weight loss and keeping extra pounds off – this workout will help with the latter, but there's no evidence that it'll actually get your weight lower than it already is.
But, that aside, experts seem to think that it's one way to stay fit in a world where spare time is increasingly valuable – and rare.
So give it a shot this weekend – and if you don't have access to a stationary bike, don't worry. One expert told HealthDay you could try sprinting (up a hill, even) and then walking back to your start point. Remember, federal health officials recommend:
– 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day for kids (up to 17 years old)
– 150 minutes or more of moderate aerobic exercise (like walking) every week and weight training that works on all the major muscle groups at least two days every week for adults
Looking for somewhere to do that? Check our five favorite places to walk in South Los Angeles.
Photo by lululemon athletica via Flickr Creative Commons.