The effects of regular sprinting on your health, body composition, fitness, strength, and susceptibility to disease are so impressive that it’d be foolish not to add sprints to your routine. There are MANY ways to sprint too. You're not limited to traditional 100 meter track sprints. You can run hills. You can cycle . You can do swimming, rowing and elliptical sprints. You can even get "sprint" gains with heavier resistance exercise, instead of just going faster.
1. It preferentially burns body fat.
Weight loss isn’t just about eliminating any old kind of body mass. It’s about losing body fat while preserving or even gaining muscle and bone. Sprinting is excellent at eliminating body fat without the negative impact on muscle mass commonly seen with excessive endurance training. It also makes you better at accessing fat for energy during other types of exercise.
2. It’s anabolic
Sprinting can increase muscle mass and strength.
3. It lowers high blood pressure.
Overall, sprint training appears to have the most potential of any exercise modality for the long term reduction of hypertension.
4. It builds new mitochondria.
Our mitochondria extract energy from nutrients to produce ATP, the standard energy currency of our body. More mitochondria, more power available to our brain and our body, more fuel burned, more energy produced. It’s a generally good idea to have a healthy abundance of mitochondria, as scientists are constantly trying to figure out how to preserve or increase their numbers because so many degenerative diseases are characterized by malfunctioning mitochondria. Well, sprinting is one way to make more.
5. It even works if you go slowly.
For example, if you go slowly because you’re pushing a heavy weighted sled. This type of "sprinting" is great for someone who can’t run a flat-out sprint because of the impact on their joints. Pushing a heavy sled, or increasing the resistance on your elliptical slows the person down, without making the exercise any less intense.
6. It’s more efficient than endurance training.
Obviously, sprint training takes less time to do than endurance training. But did you know it’s just as effective in many regards in a fraction of the time? Sprinting three times a week (4-6 times per session) was just as good as spending five days a week cycling for 40-60 minutes at improving whole body insulin sensitivity, arterial elasticity, and muscle microvascular density.
7. It works for overweight people.
While sprinting may be most daunting for overweight people, there’s evidence that it is extremely effective in this population. Studies show increased fat burning at rest while decreasing carb burning at rest – exactly what an overweight person needs to achieve to start burning body fat.
8. It improves glucose control & insulin sensitivity.
Diabetics take heed. Sprint training improves insulin sensitivity, hypoglycemia in type 2 Diabetes, and lowers the postprandial response in diabetics.