The most commonly touted advantage of the ever popular high-intensity workout is its ability to provide a big calorie burn (both during and after a workout) in a short amount of time.
Take running for example: you can burn more calories running at a faster (i.e. more intense) pace, or even alternating between a fast and moderate pace over 25 or 30 minutes, compared to simply running at a moderate pace for a longer period of time.
Essentially, you can shorten your workouts but reap the same benefits by giving more effort and getting your heart rate a bit higher.
But a bigger calorie burn isn’t the only upside to high-intensity training. A growing body of research continues to reveal that high-intensity training may help in improving cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic functions.
In fact, a new study recently helped to highlight more of the heart health benefits that may be associated with this type of training.
Published in the American Journal of Physiology -- Heart and Circulatory Physiology, the new study found that short bursts (about eight minutes) of intense exercise performed before consuming a meal high in fat helped to improve blood vessel function in young people when compared to a longer bout (about 25 minutes) of moderate-intensity exercise.
According to Science Daily, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Alan Barker of the Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, said that the study simply revealed that the intensity at which we exercise may play a role in protecting blood vessel function against the effects of high fat meals.
Next, he would like to examine whether or not the same could be true for older adults and those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Beyond the physiological related findings, the authors of the study said they also found the participants enjoyed the high intensity workout more compared to the moderate-intensity workout.
“Considering that very few adolescents currently achieve the recommended minimum of one hour of at least moderate-intensity exercise per day, smaller amounts of exercise performed at a higher-intensity might offer an attractive alternative to improve blood vessel function in adolescents," Barker said.