The eternal conflict between the desire to get into shape and the desire to stay on the couch with a bowl of pasta is a battle many of us fight on a daily basis, and there’s no shame in that. At home, if the pants you’re wearing feel a little tight, you can just take them off. Problem solved. At a gym, on the other hand, you’re forced to actually do some things in an effort to change the way those pants fit. That’s sort of the whole point.
Because of my innate dislike of activities that get me all sweaty without involving an orgasm, I’m one of those people who like to take it pretty easy on the days I do make it to the gym. An hour or so chugging away at a moderate speed on the elliptical while watching SVU is just enough effort output for me to get to go home and justify the tub of mac ‘n cheese I’m going to have for dinner. It’s not so intense that I’m gasping for air and soaked in sweat by any means — it’s just enough to tire me out and make me feel good for getting out there and moving my ass. Now, my little bubble of contentment that comes from those situations is about to be popped.
According to a study by McMaster University, a single minute of hardcore interval training is basically equivalent to roughly 45 minutes of light exercise. This is not good news. The study was conducted over 12 weeks and involved men who were instructed to perform intense interval training three times a week, another group that performed moderate exercise for about 45 minutes, and another group that continued to sit on the couch. I bet we can all agree which group had the best time in this experiment. When the results were calculated, it turned out that just doing one minute of the hard stuff affects your body’s aerobic fitness and muscular efficiency just as much as close to an hour of the light elliptical activity I know and love.
So, there are essentially two choices here: work out for a minute doing someone that makes you want to pass out, or spend close to an hour lightly sweating. Then again, we could choose to participate in the third group and stay home on the couch. I think we all know the right answer to this one..
[via Elite Daily]
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