Short Duration Exercise May Surprise:
Exercise seems like a daunting proposition for most of us.
Anything related to diet or physical-maintenance can be difficult to figure out.
This is really true for the most important part: Consistency.
You want to do the right thing, but somewhere between the scheduling and the elusive benefits, it seems easy to just give up outright or slowly ease off the wagon.
Especially since Science has always said there are Minimums;
BUT! Recently a few researchers from Duke University and the National Cancer Institute looked into those a bit closer…
The Scientific Minimum To Achieve Exercise Benefits?:
These were usually set at about 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.
Some other programs include doing even more than that, for specialized purposes.
And most-[worst?]-of-all, exercise medicine has always said the minimum effective sustained-duration was at-least 10 minutes,
With 20 being even better.
-The tacit implication being if you couldn’t do that, you might as well forget it.
Block-Scheduling Put An Unhealthy Mental-Roadblock In Many People’s Heads:
The scheduling part of including exercise into a busy day can add logistics that make it seem unfeasible,
And as we said before, some of the benefits can seem so elusive to make its worth questionable.
-Even though we get told to sit less, move more, and it will all pay off some day; Probably.
But luckily for all of us sporadic-exercisers living busy lives, the Duke team looked at this in a Data-driven way,
To find out the Actual Truth of how serious you really have to be about exercise.
And it turns out What they found is VERY hopeful!
Here They Are, The New Numbers On Meaningful Exercise:
In a study of about 5,000 people, Aged 40 or over, who all wore very-fancy fitness-monitors with accelerometers,
Their activity-levels were measured for 3 years, and then their health-outcomes were measured 5 years later.
For subjects who exercised 30 minutes a day, the reduction in early mortality was 33%,
For people who got between 60 and 100 minutes it was 50%,
And for those who got even more than 100 the reduction was 75%!
But Wait, Here’s The Best Part On Short-Duration Cardio Exercise!:
The researchers did a very sneaky thing with their accelerometers.
They set them to measure moderate-to-vigorous intensities,
But instead of the traditional 20 or even 10 minute minimums,
They started their measurements with bursts of activity Only Five Minutes Long!
What they found is: The Total Amount of Exercise is what actually mattered.
And the correlations showed the positive effects REGARDLESS OF MINIMUM DURATION!
Half-Assing something twice really does equal whole-assing it once after all!!!
A NEW HOPE:
So now, you really can do a lot more to help yourself than you thought.
You don’t have to put so many barriers in between yourself and better health.
Actual research now proves that Every Little Bit -Does- Help!
You do not have to, if you don’t want to, put together even 10 minutes at a time; although you probably should.
(that being said, according to the previous work on heart conditions, you may be doing yourself a different kind of favor if you do)
This also reflects what some city-dwellers, especially in European cities like Paris, have known for a long time.
-Walking towns are healthy towns.
So get out there & start doing every little bit you can to add some more activity to your day. It really does help!
Just imagine what insights fitness-trackers like the Apple Watch and Fitbits will bring us past even the benefits of short-duration exercise bursts as time goes on…
Photo Credits: “Omega Cal. 321 Chronograph movement”, by Shane Lin
• Source: Duke
• Source Study: JAHA – Moderate‐to‐Vigorous Physical Activity and All‐Cause Mortality: Do Bouts Matter?