You’ve heard it over and over…
Exercise is good for you. Any kind of exercise…running, walking, lifting, stretching, swimming, biking, dancing, rowing…it’s all good.
But something is better.
We’ve been telling you about it for years. And now another major study confirms it may be the most beneficial form of physical activity there is.
The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine. Scientists looked at 96,476 people. The participants wore high-tech activity trackers. These gave the researchers detailed data on the amount and intensity of the participants’ daily activity.
The results showed that people who were twice as active as those who were the least active were about half as likely to die over a three-year period. And if 30% of their exercise was at a moderate intensity level or higher, their death risk was even lower.
Dr. Tessa Strain was the lead author on the paper. She said the study showed that “doing more activity of any intensity is beneficial, but that expending those calories in more intense activity is better still.”
Previous research backs up this study.
In 2015, scientists from the National Cancer Institute analyzed information from more than 600,000 people. They found that low-intensity exercise such as walking extends life. But those who worked out at higher intensity levels gained the most health and longevity benefits.
Exercise: Make It Intense
And the good news is, when you do high-intensity exercise, you don’t have to work out for as long to get the benefits. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) gives you a great workout in less than 20 minutes a day.
In addition to lengthening your life, it works better than steady-state cardio like jogging or biking to improve heart strength, circulation, lung capacity, and overall fitness.
Researchers have found that HIIT eases depression, lowers your risk of stroke, and helps you lose weight faster. And it can improve insulin resistance and lower blood pressure better than any other type of exercise. 
HIIT is adaptable to many activities. You can run, cycle, swim, do calisthenics, or use a rowing, stair climber, or elliptical machine.
Warm up for three to five minutes doing your chosen form of exercise slowly.
Then do the exercise at close to the highest intensity you can for the next minute.
Slow down for a minute or two to catch your breath. Then go hard again for another minute.
Repeat this process five to seven times. Afterward, do the activity slowly for at least two minutes to cool down.
The idea is to push your body for a brief burst, and then allow it to recover.
The bottom line is that you should exercise however you can manage it. But HIIT provides maximum benefits in the minimum time.
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