REHIT is a new training approach influenced by high-intensity interval training (HIIT), particularly its time-saving aspect. While a typical HIIT program lasts 30 minutes, a REHIT session consists of two or three 10- to 20- second sprints, separated by up to 3 minutes of recovery, in a 10-minute cardio session. Some experts believe this reduced-exertion approach may attract people who are inactive, have a chronic disease or simply lack time.

Western Colorado University researchers, under the leadership of Lance Dalleck, PhD, professor of exercise and sport science, conducted a study to evaluate REHIT training benefits for people who are sedentary and have cardiometabolic risk factors. Participants cycled on an indoor bike that is programmed to offer REHIT workouts and, according to the manufacturer, uses artificial intelligence to adjust resistance and timing to individual power and fatigue levels.

Subjects included 10 sedentary men and women ages 18–64 with at least two cardiometabolic risk factors; only six participants completed this American Council on Exercise–sponsored research.

After 3 weeks of three REHIT sessions per week (nine total workouts), training participants showed significant improvement in blood glucose markers when compared with the control group.

“These are very exciting findings for such a short time commitment, but that doesn’t mean that people should replace their regular exercise programs with a REHIT program,” said Dalleck. “Instead, REHIT can be used as a strategy during busy periods to avoid the detraining effects of lapses in exercise.”

Other takeaways: Sedentary individuals tolerated the program well, and it may be attractive to those with time barriers. Study limitations included the small sample size.

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