People often blame their busy lives and schedule as the reason they do not exercise. However, there may be hope (or at least a lack of valid excuses) for those people. A new study shows that sprint interval training is very effective at burning calories in shorts amounts of time. This research will be presented at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VImeeting in October.

interval training, intervals, sprinting, sprint intervals, running intervalsResearchers from Colorado State University had 5 volunteers participate in the study. Each volunteer maintained a diet that ensured they were not over- or undereating for three days.After those three days, the men stayed in a research facility for two days, where their room was completely enclosed, with air intake and exhaust regulated.There was equipment installed to analyze oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water content. The researchers were able determine how many calories the volunteers had burned while staying in these rooms.1

Each volunteer continued to eat the prescribed diet for two days while living in this room, and remained quite sedentary. On one of the days, while still in their room, they completed a sprint interval workout that involved maximum effort on a stationary bicycle. They pedaled at a high resistance for five 30-second periods, each separated by a 4-minute recovery period where they pedaled slowly with light resistance.2

The results of the data from the room calorimeter system showed participants burned an average of an extra 200 calories on the sprint interval workout day.This was quite impressive considering that the volunteers only spent 2.5 minutes engaging in intense exercise.3

The United States government recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. However, after looking at this study, that much time may not be needed in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Kyle Sevits, a researcher on the study said, "Burning an extra 200 calories from these exercises a couple of times a week can help keep away that pound or two that many Americans gain each year."Sevits went on to explain, "Research shows that many people start an exercise program but just can't keep it up. The biggest factor people quote is that they don't have the time to fit in exercise. We hope if exercise can be fit into a smaller period of time, then they may give exercise a go and stick with it." Three times a week with the regimen in the study only equates to 7.5 minutes of intense exercise, and just a little over an hour of dedicated time. This is much more possible to commit to and achieve for those who live an extremely busy lifestyle.4