We all know that exercise is a necessity if we are going to stay healthy. It needs to be part of a healthy lifestyle. Not everybody enjoys spending a lot of time in the gym however.
For those who would rather exercise for a short time when they do, the following study should be good news. The research was done on patients with diabetes, but you don’t have to be diabetic to benefit from this type of regime (Eriksen L, et al, 2007). These patients were randomly assigned to one of two exercise programs carried out at home on a bicycle. The training was done at 60% of maximal oxygen uptake, this was termed as moderate to high-intensity. One group did three 10-minute sessions per day while the other group did one 30-minute session per day. The program lasted for 5 weeks.
The cardiorespiratory fitness increased similarly in both groups, but there were additional benefits documented for the 10-minute 3 times daily group.
On an oral 3 hour glucose tolerance test fasting glucose, 120 minutes glucose and blood glucose concentration areas under the curve at 120 minutes and 180 minutes decreased in the 10-minute 3 times daily exercise group, but not in the 30-minute daily group.
For people who have blood sugar issues being insulin resistant or having type 2 diabetes, exercising in short intervals three times during the day definitely is the preference.
People who don’t have any blood sugar problems will not lose any benefits exercising in intervals during the day since the cardiorespiratory fitness increased similarly in both groups.
Eriksen L, et al. Comparison of the effect of multiple short-duration with sing long-duration exercise sessions on glucose homeostasis in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia. 2007 Nov;50(11):2245-53.