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Brief, Intense Bursts of Exercise Benefit the Heart
(June 10, 2008) – Short bursts of high intensity sprints—known to benefit muscle and improve exercise performance—can improve the function and structure of blood vessels, in particular arteries that deliver blood to our muscles and heart, according to new research from McMaster University.
The study was published online in the journal American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative & Comparative Physiology.
The findings support the idea that people can exercise using brief, high-intensity forms of exercise and reap the same benefits to cardiovascular health that can be derived from traditional, long-duration and moderately intense exercise.
The research compared individuals who completed interval training using 30-second "all-out" sprints three days a week to a group who completed between 40 and 60 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling five days a week.
It found that six weeks of intense sprint interval exercise training improves the structure and function of arteries as much as traditional and longer endurance exercise with larger time commitment.
Cindy Stephens, director of Health Central, University Hospital’s wellness and fitness center, cautioned that those people who consider starting an exercise program need to consult with a physician.
Health Central also offers a safe exercise environment with the following special services:
- Cardiac Rehab Phase IV, a supervised exercise program for people recovering from heart problems or at high risk for them
- Massage therapy including seated chair massage
- Personal training by appointment
- Cholesterol screening by appointment
- Blood pressure readings
- Dietary consultations by dietitians
- Personalized health risk appraisal and percentage body fat analysis
- Physical fitness evaluations
- Variety of group fitness classes for all ages and levels of fitness