Ten minutes of exercise might not seem like enough to be effective, but it just might be enough to make a difference if you sprint. Not only does sprinting burn calories and shed pounds, but it’s an ideal exercise to tone and shape the body. Sprinting -- even for short periods of time -- has been shown to boost endurance and shed more fat than other forms of exercise.
Tone and Shape
If you've ever looked at a sprinter’s physique, you've probably noticed that her butt and legs are extremely toned. Coincidence? Not at all. Sprinting actually helps to tone the legs and butt, much like weightlifting. It’s so explosive that it requires the muscle fibers to twitch or activate quickly -- similar to the way muscles behave during strength training. Sprinting essentially provides the same benefit as lifting weights.
Sprinting also boosts endurance. According to FitDay, it increases the body’s ability to store oxygen -- a necessity for exercising at an optimal level. The more oxygen the muscles have, the more efficiently they work without becoming fatigued. More importantly, this boost in oxygen-uptake increases endurance not only while sprinting, but during other exercises as well. Sprinting trains the muscles to function better so endurance levels for all aerobic activities are improved. For instance, if you jog regularly, expect faster and longer runs with greater ease after incorporating sprinting into your routine.
Burn Fat Faster
According to a study published in the “Journal of Obesity,” sprinting for eight-second bursts within a 20-minute period burns more fat than jogging. Researchers at the University of New South Wales discovered that incorporating sprinting into your routine allows you to exercise for less time and still have great effects. For instance, the men who participated in the study lost 4 pounds within a 12-week period and 17 percent of the body fat surrounding their organs. According to researchers, you would have to jog for nearly seven hours a week for 14 weeks to create the same effect. Arguably, sprinting for half the time -- 10 minutes -- will create similar results, but you’ll probably lose 2 pounds instead of 4.
Since sprinting is a total-body exercise, it works the legs, arms and even the abs. Each time the leg is lifted into the mid-air 90-degree-angle position when sprinting, it’s like a mini ab workout. According to Bodybuilding.com, professional sprinters take about 44 to 47 steps per 100 meters. If you sprint at a pace of 58 to 60 steps per 100, then you’ll be working the abs approximately 58 to 60 times for every sprint. Multiply that number by eight or nine sprints during a 10-minute period, and you’ll have worked your abs nearly 540 times. Most people can’t even do that many situps.
Based in Atlanta, Mya Passmore has been writing since 2010, covering health and business topics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from George Washington University.