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No Time to Exercise? Think Again

A recent study found that short bouts of activity several times a day can reduce the risk of heart disease in the study participants who were prehypertensive.You don’t have to sweat through a 30-minute workout to get the health benefits of exercise. A study published in the January/February 2013 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion adds to earlier findings from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada that short bouts of activity several times a day can do the trick and a small study from Arizona State that showed that three 10-minute aerobic exercise sessions daily was an effective alternative to longer bouts of exercise to reduce the risk of heart disease in the study participants who were prehypertensive. The researchers, from Bellarmine University in Kentucky, found few differences between “less than 10-minutes” exercisers and those who spent more time working out. But you do have to log enough of the short bouts to add up to 150 minutes per week. The data for the study came from a national survey of more than 6,000 people ages 18 to 85 whose activity levels were measured along with their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. The less-than-10-minutes crowd had improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels similar to those who exercised for longer periods of time. You can squeeze exercise into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and exploring similar opportunities to be active, noted Bellarmine researcher Paul Loprinzi, Ph.D.

Paul D. Loprinzi and Bradley J. Cardinal (2013) Association Between Biologic Outcomes and Objectively Measured Physical Activity Accumulated in ≥10-Minute Bouts and <10-Minute Bouts. American Journal of Health Promotion: January/February 2013, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 143-151.

Dharini Bhammar et al “Effects of fractionized and continuous exercise on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure,” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2012 Dec;44(12):2270-6. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182663117

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Reader Comments (4)

I laugh when an obese person tells me that they have no time to exercise, but they obviously have plenty of time to eat.

We all must exercise as if our lives depended on it.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEliot W. Collins

I always cringe when people assume I have 'so much free time' because I exercise 6 days a week. Yeah, I get up at FIVE a.m. every day to MAKE the time!

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica House

You have to 'want' to exercise to actually do it. It will then become a habit that will stay with you for the rest of your life. 30 minutes 3 times a week is more than enough to achieve a good level of fitness. It's easier than you think people!

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave

I cant believe some of the excuse i hear, i work in a gym as a personal trainer and its a joke, anyway great blog, and great post, keep em coming -Horace

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHorace

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