Exercise. We know we need it. We hate to do it. Can it be done in just 7 minutes? Tell me more, you say? Well, a recent article in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal outlines an intensive 7 minute workout that uses your own body weight, a chair, the wall and some good ol elbow grease (aka high intensity effort) that produces virtually the same workout as a 30-minute standard weight routine and 30-minutes on the elliptical.
“There’s very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.
Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions also have found that even a few minutes of training at an intensity at your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles similiar to those of several hours of running or bike riding. I don’t know about you- but a little extra effort for a few minutes of my day is a heck of a lot more enticing than thinking about working out for an hour plus!
This 7-minute program outlined by Mr. Jordan and his colleagues, requires high intense intervals and only a 10-second rest in-between exercises. 10 seconds! That’s it?!! Another key point is that you’re working different large muscle groups each time you work so you have time to rest the fatigued muscles even longer. Each activity should be performed for 30 seconds to 1 minute with a 10 second rest in-between. In order for this 7-minute workout to be magically transformed into an hour long run you must work at high intensity (about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10). The good news is- after just a few minutes- you’re done!