High-intensity interval running is perceived to be more enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise: Implications for exercise adherence

  • Bartlett J
  • Close G
  • Maclaren D
 et al. 
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The aim of this study was to objectively quantify ratings of perceived enjoyment using the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale following high-intensity interval running versus moderate-intensity continuous running. Eight recreationally active men performed two running protocols consisting of high-intensity interval running (6 × 3 min at 90% VO(2max) interspersed with 6 × 3 min active recovery at 50% VO(2max) with a 7-min warm-up and cool down at 70% VO(2max)) or 50 min moderate-intensity continuous running at 70% VO(2max). Ratings of perceived enjoyment after exercise were higher (P < 0.05) following interval running compared with continuous running (88 ± 6 vs. 61 ± 12) despite higher (P < 0.05) ratings of perceived exertion (14 ± 1 vs. 13 ± 1). There was no difference (P < 0.05) in average heart rate (88 ± 3 vs. 87 ± 3% maximum heart rate), average VO(2) (71 ± 6 vs. 73 ± 4%VO(2max)), total VO(2) (162 ± 16 vs. 166 ± 27 L) or energy expenditure (811 ± 83 vs. 832 ± 136 kcal) between protocols. The greater enjoyment associated with high-intensity interval running may be relevant for improving exercise adherence, since running is a low-cost exercise intervention requiring no exercise equipment and similar relative exercise intensities have previously induced health benefits in patient populations.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Endurance training
  • Intermittent exercise
  • Maximal oxygen uptake

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