Maintaining a healthy diet and regular fitness routine is a no-brainer. We know that doing both leads to real life-changing benefits, whether those benefits be decreased pain and inflammation or a holistic increase in mood and mental health. In short, being healthy means you'll have a better chance of staying healthy, far into old age.
That's truer than we could have ever imagined. According to brand new research that was reported on by Runner's World and published in the Journal of Physiology, a single workout can have an almost instant effect on our health. Researchers set out to study the link between exercise—namely high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is any type of workout that combines bursts of high-intensity effort with short periods of recovery—and cancer. What they found was surprising; the results suggest that a single HIIT workout (yes, just one) can impede the growth of human cancer cells.
Keep scrolling to get all the details behind this groundbreaking study.
The researchers took male colon cancer survivors and split them up into 2 different groups. One group would undergo a single HIIT session; the other group would undergo regular HIIT sessions. Regardless of which group the participants were in, the HIIT session(s) looked like this: a 10-minute warmup followed by 4 rounds of cycling for 4 minutes each (with 3 minute rest periods in between each round). The first group did this exercise only once; the second group did this exercise 3 times a week for a month. Before and after each session, blood samples were taken.
Once the blood samples were gathered, the researchers separated the red blood cells from the mix, leaving behind the blood's "serum." Here's where it gets interesting. The researchers then replaced the serum of cancer cells that were grown in a lab with the serum from the participants in order to study how exercise affected cancer growth. What they found was groundbreaking. The serum gathered before exercise had no affect on the growth of the colon cancer cells. The serum gather after exercise, however, inhibited the growth of the colon cancer cells almost immediately. What's more is that there was no statistical difference between the 2 groups, which suggests a single HIIT session is enough to stop cancer cells in their tracks.
This is significant in of itself, but even more so when considering that benefits of exercise are usually only thought to appear after long-term practice. This study suggests something else entirely—that is, a single HIIT session can make a substantial and quantifiable difference in our health. We don't know about you, but knowing that our bodies can gain instant benefits from a single workout gives us some major movement motivation. In this case, we guess you could say that instant gratification is a good thing.
Reap these potential health benefits by trying the ultimate fat-burning HIIT workout.