Why Any Exercise is Better Than Nothing

A study  published this past September in the American Journal of Health Promotion states that even one minute of exercise contributes to weight loss, and that your daily exercise can be effectively achieved one minute at a time.

University of Utah researchers analyzed data gathered from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey regarding the weight and body mass index (BMI) of 4,511 adults between the ages of 18 and 64, and compared this data to their measured levels of physical activity.

Results of their analysis showed that every minute of moderate to vigorous exercise that the individuals underwent transferred to a drop in body weight, and in BMI. In women, one minute of this type of exercise meant a .07 lower body mass index.

This translates to almost half a pound of weight in a 5’4″ woman. In men, the BMI drop was .04, or about .27 pounds of weight assuming a 5’8″ man. Minute by minute, these drops in BMI and weight quickly add up.

Jessie Fan, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah and lead author of the paper, says, “the idea here is, you can do a minute at a time and that’s not a problem… I think it’s easier for people to process that message. Otherwise, if they don’t have a block of time they might be discouraged, and they don’t do anything.”

Professor Fan defines “high intensity” exercise as moving enough to get your heart rate going. Brisk walking, climbing the stairs with gusto, or even whisking a sauce by hand – to name only a few day to day activities – can all have this effect.

walkingThe Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by health.gov recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intesity exercise per week. Moment by moment, this is not difficult to accomplish.

Dr. Michael Mantell, a behavioral science expert at the American Council on Exercise, states that all-too-often, people think that if they cannot exercise for an extended period of time, they do not begin. He says, “this study identifies why that belief is inaccurate.”

So, if you find yourself with a free moment in your busy day, why not invest it contributing to your overall health?

-The Alternative Daily



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