Your Dream Body Could Be One Minute Away

As you jog on the treadmill, and watch each minute painstakingly crawl by, you likely wonder just how much exercise does it really take to get fit-how many minutes, days, weeks, or years. Or, on the other hand, how little exercise does it take?

Some welcomed news is here for those that wonder the latter. New evidence supports the idea that we need a lot less exercise than we think-so long as we are willing to work a bit harder.

Scientists at McMaster University in Canada recently studied groups of healthy yet sedentary, middle-aged men and women, and groups of those diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. They tested the groups' heart rates as they did short bursts of strenuous peddling (intervals) on stationary bikes. The researchers wanted to find out whether intervals can provide the same fitness benefits as longer, moderate endurance exercise, which frankly, most Americans don't do enough of.

The intervals (one minute of strenuous exercise, working at about 90 percent of the person's maximum heart rate followed by one minute of easy recovery) that the groups followed for several weeks, gained them significant improvements in their health and fitness levels. Basically, the scientist found that a single bout of the one-minute hard, one-minute easy training, repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes, gave the same benefits of much longer "normal" exercise time. Good news for those short on time, but big on fitness.

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3 Comments
  • anonymous
    Posted on

    No matter what exercise you do, the minutes will crawl by if you do not enjoy the activity. You may get physically slimmer or toned, but your mind is bored and your spirit low. Is that really a benefical fitness program? With all of the options there are, several that require only walking shoes or the radio, there is no reason to "watch each minute painstakingly crawl by." People who say and believe they "play sport" or they "practice" whatever activity they enjoy, do not dread the time spent because they do not set up the activity as a chore or an "exercise." Granted there are those days when my run isn't smooth or effortless. I call that my maintenance run or I remind myself how lucky I am to run at all. I was off for 3.5 months after breaking my leg in 3 places avoiding a wide jeep that was in the runner's lane, driven by a woman chatting on her cell phone. (She didn't see me nor did she even stop!) Now, I enjoy every step I run. Everyone should cherish that their body can move and that we have choices to do what makes us toned, happy and engaged in our life at that moment. Do what you enjoy and fitness will be effortless.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    There is a workout called Tabata that has the same idea, its 20 sec of hard work 10 sec of rest on anything that you are doing. Whether its weights or cardio, so the rep is just how every many you can do in a certain amount of time instead of counting.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    My personal trainer taught me this technique a few years ago, doing the run, walk, run method. It makes my work out much more effective and a lot shorter which is great because who really has hours to spend at the gym.

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