March 25, 2013

Quick Exercise vs. Long Exercise

The daily recommended amount of exercise is typically known as thirty minutes a day. That’s half an hour out of the day dedicated to working out in a gym, running outside, swimming in a pool, or even grooving to music in a Zumba class. Many people find, that with the hustle and bustle of a busy day, thirty minutes of exercise is just too hard to accomplish.

This inspired researchers at Bellarmine University and Oregon State University to see if multiple, short sessions of physical exercise, for less than 10 minutes, lead to positive results. Well, who exercises for less than 10 minutes, multiple times a day? Researchers linked this kind of exercise to an active lifestyle; meaning that small activities like taking the stairs at work, or parking in the furthest parking spot at the grocery store, counted towards an active lifestyle.

So what did the researchers test? In people aged 15-85, they compared the effects of exercising less than ten minutes, multiple times a day (non-bout activity) to the effects of exercising more than 10 minutes a day (bout activity) in relation to cardiovascular disease risk factors (i.e. BMI, waist circumference, cholesterol, metabolic syndrome)

What researchers found was the following:

• People who participated in bout activity, had significantly lower BMI
• Bout and non-bout activity have a positive influence on health
• The health outcomes in bout and non-bout activity were similar

What does this mean for you? If you lead a busy lifestyle, and cannot find the time to exercise for more than ten consecutive minutes, don’t beat yourself up over it. Lead an active lifestyle by making small changes to your daily activities. This can include activities like choosing to take the stairs when an elevator is available or walking around the house while on the phone. Leading an active lifestyle through non-bout activity, can still benefit your health and is much better than being a couch potato.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise for more than ten minutes, because you should. If you find the time for a 20, 30, or even longer work out, do it! In the end, the dphysical activity will only benefit your health and body.

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Reference: http://www.portalagita.org.br/uploads/arquivos/Publicacoes/Loprinzi_PD_et_al_Association_between_biologic_outcomes_and_objectively_measured_physical_activity_Am_J_HealthProm_2013.pdf

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