Key points: Interval training may improve cardiovascular health faster than moderate aerobic exercise. An article published by the Harvard Medical School recommends at least three-20 minute interval trainings per week for cardiovascular health.

Research studies have shown that interval training, or high intensity exercise that pushes the body to work very hard followed by restful activity, is more effective than longer moderate activity for cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic processes. Most interval exercises involves very short bursts- 60 to 90 seconds of intense activity, followed by the same period of less intense activity.

Interval training may not be for everyone, especially those at high risk for a stroke. A study by Jung, et al, published in 2014 in PLOS, showed that interval training might be less intimidating and more enjoyable for patients to perform than longer duration moderate activity. Other studies have shown that chronic diseases may benefit from the metabolic improvements seen with interval training such as type II diabetes.

Why is this clinically relevant?

  • Interval training has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and metabolism more than moderate exercise and takes less time
  • Short bursts of intense exercise may be a better alternative for patients struggling to get regular exercise and reduce their risk of stroke

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