Short, high-intensity workouts have become increasingly popular in recent years. It seems like there’s constantly shorter and shorter routines that can give you incredible results. But a new exercise regimen might take the cake in terms of brevity and benefits, especially if you’re someone who sits for long periods of time during the day.
Enter the four-second workout. (Yes, you read that right: four seconds!)
In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, two groups of participants were told to stay seated for eight hours unless they were getting up to eat or go the bathroom. One group of these participants would do five four-second bursts on a specialized stationary bike every hour before returning to their seated positions. They did a total of 160 seconds of exercise for the entire day.
The morning after the experiment, researchers found that the group who did short four-second “workouts” had lower blood levels of triglycerides compared to their fully sedentary peers, and they burned more fat during the following six-hour period. Triglycerides are a key indicator of heart health, so it’s important that they remain as low as possible. All told, their triglyceride levels remained 30 percent lower.
While the authors of the study are quick to point out that their work is nowhere near conclusive and that the study was small and short-term, it does show that even just getting off the couch to run or jump in place for a couple of seconds each hour can make a huge difference.
Especially in the dead of winter in a pandemic, we could all use a few new ways to move a little more! You have time for a four-second workout, right?