The body's ability to process sugars can get a big boost from regular high-intensity, three-minute workouts, which could reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to researchers in Scotland.
They had 16 sedentary male volunteers use exercise bikes to perform quick sprints at their highest possible intensity, United Press International reported.
"What we have found is that doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks," researcher James Timmons, Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, said in a news release.
He added that doing any kind of high intensity workout a few days a week should achieve the same protective metabolic improvements, UPI reported.
While regular physical activity can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, many people simply don't have the time to follow current exercise guidelines, Timmons noted. These findings suggest a way around that time problem.
The study appears in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders.