You can forget dishing out excuses like no time to get to the gym or hate jogging in the rain! Scientists say that intense exercise for just one extra minute a day could help keep the pounds off.
A study shows that short bursts of concentrated effort that work the heart and lungs can have the same impact on weight loss as longer less frequent bouts of exercise.
The fast track weight loss tricks like taking the stairs, getting off the bus early or parking further away from the shops and walking are more effective than grueling gym sessions..
Although official guidelines state Americans should do 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity in spells of 8 to 10 minutes a week most fail to achieve this.
Lead researcher Dr Jessie Fan, from the University of Utah stated, “What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration. Knowing that even short bouts of brisk activity can add up to a positive effect is really an encouraging message for promoting better health.”
Details of the study
In a bid to determine whether intense but brief bursts of exercise could help people maintain their weight the researchers conducted a study.
It involved 2,202 women and 2,309 men aged between 18 and 64, who were part of NHANES, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Pregnant women and people with mobility issues were excluded from the study.
For the purpose of the trial, the subjects wore accelerometers to record their physical activity for a week. In addition, they also had their Body Mass Index (BMI) recorded. This is the measure of weight in relation to height.
Outcome of the trial
The analysis revealed that women who engaged in higher-intensity short bouts of activity on a daily basis exhibited BMI reduction of 0.07. In other words each minute of brisk activity daily burned the calories equivalent of 0.41lb, explained experts.
A comparison of two women of 5ft 5in found that the one who consistently adds a minute of brisk activity to her day will weigh nearly half a pound less. The findings were same for both the sexes. Moreover short spells of higher-intensity activity every day cut the risk of obesity by 2 percent for men and 5 percent for women.
The researchers stated, “Taking the stairs, walking to the store or between errands are choices that can add up and can end up making a positive health difference.The message is: a little more effort can have an important health payback.”
The study is published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.