Weight Management, Healthy Weight Loss, Weight Loss Plan
Some days, it feels like you can’t make it to the gym for 20 minutes, let alone a full hour. Don’t sweat it: Weight management in even very short bouts of higher-intensity physical activity—we’re talking brisk walking-level intensity here—can help keep you at a healthy weight, according to new research published in the journal The Science of Lifestyle Change. For the study, researchers looked at data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, for which the Centers for Disease Control collected the weights, heights, and activity levels of a nationally representative sample of people. Researchers took 4,511 overweight and obese adults from the survey and split them into into four categories: those who did more than 10 minutes of higher-intensity physical activity (defined as anything at least as rigorous as brisk walking) at a time; those who did less than 10 minutes of higher-intensity physical activity at a time; those who did more than 10 minutes of lower-intensity physical activity at a time, and those who did less than 10 minutes of lower-intensity physical activity at a time.
Turns out, the shorter bouts of higher-intensity activity were about as effective at lowering participants’ BMIs (minute for minute) as the longer bouts of higher-intensity activity were. Both higher-intensity activity groups also showed a smaller risk of being overweight or obese. Lower-intensity activity, however, wasn’t associated with the same health perks. “If you can do a minute here, a minute there—as long as it’s higher-intensity and it adds up to about 30 minutes, five times a week—it would still have as much of a benefit as doing at least 10 minutes at a time,” says study author Jessie X. Fan, Ph.D., a professor in the department of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. Why? While this study didn’t look at mechanism, previous research suggests higher-intensity exercises may rev up your metabolism more—so you keep burning calories and fat even after you stop moving, says Fan, helping you in your weight management goals.
Healthy Weight Loss
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