A recent New York Times article How 1-Minute Intervals Can Improve Your Health reported on the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The subjects exercised on a stationary bike. There were two groups of subjects, unfit subjects and cardiac patients Plus a control group. The results:
"Despite the small time commitment of this modified HIIT program, after several weeks of practicing it, both the unfit volunteers and the cardiac patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness.
The results, published in a recent review of HIIT-related research, were especially remarkable in the cardiac patients. They showed “significant improvements” in the functioning of their blood vessels and heart, said Maureen MacDonald, an associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster who is leading the ongoing experiment."
Also noted were the benefits demonstrated in earlier studies:
“In unfit but otherwise healthy middle-aged adults, two weeks of modified HIIT training prompted the creation of far more cellular proteins involved in energy production and oxygen. The training also improved the volunteers’ insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation, lowering their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published last fall in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.”
The researcher concludes: “It’s very potent exercise,” Dr. Gibala said. “And then, very quickly, it’s done.”