Bicycle nuts of all kinds (including those in the “Slow Bicycle” camp) have been sharing this story at the New York Times about the benefits of short, high intensity interval workouts to your health.
Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario have found that relatively short, twice weekly 20 minute workouts of high intensity have as much benefit as longer, daily low intensity exercise.
For the high intensity intervals, you push yourself for a minute at 90% of your maximum heart rate, then rest for a minute at low intensity. Repeat ten times for 20 minutes of intervals.
So how do you know when you’re at 90%?
Losing muscle mass is thought to be an inevitable part of aging after 40 years of age, but this is based almost entirely on observations of sedentary aduls. More recent research published in The Physician and Sports Medicine, however, shows that muscle mass and strength can be maintained well into old age, which can have positive impacts on your overall physical health and quality of life.
Researchers have long noticed that exercise can benefit people with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system in which brain cell death results in loss of motor control. Strenuous cycling in particular seems especially beneficial.