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December 9, 2011 at 9:12 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Prevent Diabetes in Just...Seconds Per Day?

By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This Author

Welcome back to FitChatter - your weekly source for the latest news in diet and exercise! This week in the news:

A quick poll: how often do you exercise each week? If you're anything like me, your answer, well...leaves something to be desired, to put it mildly. I'm lucky if I get in an hour in any given week.

But what if I told you that even one hour is still overachieving?

Okay, let me back up a bit. Researchers from the University of Bath recently completed a study in which volunteers performed sprints on exercise bikes twice a day, three times a week. After six weeks, they found a 28 per cent improvement in the participants' insulin function. They concluded that these sprints could prevent and even possibly treat type 2 diabetes.

Pretty awesome. But what's even more awesome is this: each sprint was only 20 seconds long.

While 20-second spurts won't give you weight-loss results, their effect on insulin is pretty incredible. “We know of no quicker and easier way of getting the muscles to use glycogen than with the short sprints we used in our study," said Dr. Niels Vollard, the doctor leading the study. “These sprints break down as much glycogen in 20 seconds as moderate endurance exercise would in an hour.”

Even with the light warm-up and cool-down, the total time for the workout still clocks in at a cool 10 minutes. And if that's still too much to handle, don't worry. The study is being extended to see if they can make the sessions even shorter.

An incredible development, to be sure. But the (admittedly very small) cynical part of me wonders - if people aren't willing to don workout gear for a light half hour a few times a week, are they going to want to do it for 10 minutes? After all, it's a lot easier to brush off a 20-second workout than it is a 30-minute workout that you've planned for. If you want a radical change in your health, sometimes you need to make a radical change in yourself.

What do you think?


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1 Comment

  • Very interesting! Thanks for posting this Laura, love these FitChatter blogs. 10 minute workouts sounds so much better than 30 minute ones. I see your point at the very end though.

    If I was driving to a gym to do a workout, I'd rather do a long one...otherwise I would feel like I wasted gas going there for only 10 minutes.

    But if I could sprint at home, I would more likely do 10 minute theory. I may just be unmotivated...working out at home for me is hard. I get distracted by other things I could be doing and usually it ends up in me never working out. :P

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