A new study performed in the Faroe Islands suggests that it is as effective for cardio-vascular health to do 3-5 minutes of (effective) high-intensity swimming, as it is to swim for an hour at a more moderate pace.
To test the hypothesis that high-intensity swim training improves cardiovascular health status in sedentary premenopausal women with mild hypertension, sixty-two women were randomized into high-intensity (; HIT), moderate-intensity (; MOD), and control groups (; CON). HIT performed 6–10 × 30 s all-out swimming interspersed by 2 min recovery and MOD swam continuously for 1 h at moderate intensity for a 15-week period completing in total and sessions, respectively. In CON, all measured variables were similar before and after the intervention period. Systolic BP decreased () by and mmHg in HIT and MOD; respectively. Resting heart rate declined () by bpm both in HIT and MOD, fat mass decreased () by and kg, respectively, while the blood lipid profile was unaltered. In HIT and MOD, performance improved () for a maximal 10 min swim (% and %), interval swimming (% and %), and Yo-Yo IE1 running performance (% and %). In conclusion, high-intensity intermittent swimming is an effective training strategy to improve cardiovascular health and physical performance in sedentary women with mild hypertension. Adaptations are similar with high- and moderate-intensity training, despite markedly less total time spent and distance covered in the high-intensity group.
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