AFTER EXERCISING ALWAYS COOL-DOWN
Weight Loss by the Minute
Study Shows Accumulating Single Minutes of Exercise Leads to Weight Loss
By Marguerite Ogle, About.com Guide
Doing a little something is much better than nothing.
A study done at the University of Utah which showed that even exercise of very short duration, as little as one minute, can have health and weight loss benefits. Previously it was thought that 10 minute duration was the minimum for significant effectiveness. The study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, pretty much debunks even the busiest person’s excuses for not getting enough exercise. A minute here, a minute there, you watch your diet, and voila - you've lost some weight; such a deal.
The exercise does have to be at least a moderate level of exertion. An article published by the University of Utah where the study was done described that as "brisk", like walking at about 3 miles per hour. The intensity of the exercise was found to be a greater factor in weight loss than the duration -- as long as the minutes add up over the week that is.
Each minute of brisk exercise was associated with a reduction of .07 body mass index (BMI) for women and .04 reduction for men. Those might sound like small numbers but that's by the minute and they really add up. Not only that, but researchers found that once people knew they were getting benefit from exercising in shorter bouts, they were more likely to achieve or exceed the minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week suggested by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
So, for those of us who do Pilates, it's kind of nice to know that tossing off a few roll ups, teasers, or one of the short Pilates routines we have here might have even greater benefit than we thought. When I don't have time for a workout I often find myself doing just a little something to get the circulation going and wake up my core. I've always known it makes a difference. But I have to throw in a caveat: I don't think the full benefits of Pilates can be had in minute-long bites.
Keep in mind that the new study, and basic exercise guidelines that come from the government, are not looking at the level of fitness we are after in Pilates. The strength and endurance; the flexibility and balance; the body, mind, spirit integration as well as overall coordination and uniform development of the body are still going to come through longer, focused workouts.
I don't think anyone is suggesting, really, that one minute bouts of exercise is an idea way to get fit, but it is nice to know that they help more than we thought and that those quick walks down long halls or across parking lots do count toward our cumulative 150 minutes of exercise. By the way, that's a minimum. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests accumulating more like 250 minutes for weight loss. Still, very doable.
Let's just say you wanted to do a minute or so of Pilates. I suggest you limit your range of motion unless you are warmed up, and remember, it's got to be brisk so review instructions before you start so you can flow right through.
Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere
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