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Scientists Study How Little Exercise You Need

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the i'm-tired dept.

Medicine 437

Hugh Pickens writes "Millions of Americans don't engage in much exercise, if they complete any at all and asked why, a majority of respondents, in survey after survey, say, 'I don't have time.' Now Gretchen Reynolds reports that instead of wondering just how much exercise people really need in order to gain health and fitness, a group of scientists in Canada are turning that issue on its head and asking, how little exercise do we need to maintain fitness and the answer appears to be, a lot less than most of us think — provided we're willing to work a bit. Most people have heard of intervals, or repeated, short, sharp bursts of strenuous activity, interspersed with rest periods. Almost all competitive athletes strategically employ a session or two of interval training every week to improve their speed and endurance. Researchers have developed a version of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involves one minute of strenuous effort, at about 90 percent of a person's maximum heart rate (which most of us can estimate, very roughly, by subtracting our age from 220), followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery are repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes and the interval training is performed twice a week. Despite the small time commitment of this modified HIIT program, after several weeks of practicing it, both the unfit volunteers and the cardiac patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness. 'A growing body of evidence demonstrates that high-intensity interval training can serve as an effective alternate to traditional endurance-based training, inducing similar or even superior physiological adaptations in healthy individuals and diseased populations, at least when compared on a matched-work basis.'"

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437 comments

Interval Training (5, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054171)

Works wonders if your employer has an onsite gym. Duck in at random intervals throughout the day, bang out 100 leg presses, 15 heavyweight curls each arm, 30 heavyweight dumbell presses, 40 reps of wrist curls with 40-pound dumbbells each arm. Feels good, man, even on a diet of beer and Mexican food.

The intervals meaning that interruption to your routine is minimal since you're not doing it all at once when everybody else is using the gym, like at lunchtimes or after work.

Re:Interval Training (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054233)

>> even on a diet of beer and Mexican food

I am so happy that I don't share an office with you.

Re:Interval Training (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054323)

Don't pull my finger and you'll be okay.

Re:Interval Training (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054753)

Yeah, you say that now...

Re:Interval Training (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055155)

I guess I am the sociopath here. I save it for the elevator where there is no escape.

Mwuhahahahahahahhahahha

Re:Interval Training (1)

Jeffrey_Walsh VA (1335967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054759)

heh heh, Ethanol-fueled. (sorry EF.)

Re:Interval Training (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055279)

Clearly needs to change his nick to Ethanol-and-Methane-fueled.

Re:Interval Training (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054363)

That's not really the way interval training works, though the fact that you exercise at all puts you head and shoulders above most people in this country. Real interval training requires you to do a bunch of short intervals of exercise with only slightly longer periods of rest in between. For example, sprint for one minute, slow jog for two, repeat that cycle six times. Most exercise machines (treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, etc.) have such an option as one of the built-in programs.

But regardless of whether or not what you're suggesting is "real" interval training, the fact remains that it is exercise, and for most people, even modest exercise is enough to keep them from getting fat and weak. Just remember to wear deodorant, because under the proposed regimen, you're not going to be showering after each interval.

Re:Interval Training (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055195)

<nelson>HA HA!</nelson>

I eat what I want and don't get much exercise at all. I'm thin, sit all day, drink too much, and you know what? You have to die from something. Live while you're alive. Take it from an old man who'll be sixty in a couple of months.

(now watch me die tomorrow, that would show me, wouldn't it?)

Re:Interval Training (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055329)

I agree with 'Live while you are alive' but sitting on the couch, drinking and eating crap I find less of the living then spending couple of hours in the gym, relaxing brain while walking or camping and eating stuff that makes me feel good AFTERWARDS (like fruits and oatmeal).

Re:Interval Training (4, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055201)

for most people, even modest exercise is enough to keep them from getting fat and weak

I would actually say that diet is infinitely more important than exercise. There's a reason it's said that six packs are made in the kitchen.

Someone who eats healthy and does not work out is often in better shape than someone who eats junk and "works out" for half hour a day. Most of those people just use their momentum to do some crazy exercises with piss poor forms, and eat unhealthy crap afterwards because they've worked out (think middle aged man with flabby biceps and a beer gut trying to bench press, when he probably has 30% body fat).

Re:Interval Training (0)

vaccum pony (721932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054423)

Those exercises won't do much for your heart rate. Fast walks, cross country skiing (X-trainer in the gym), running and rowing are awesome for your heart. Also, don't overthink it: stairs.

Re:Interval Training (1)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055053)

Those exercise have already done much for my heart rate. As it did for the subjects of the tests described in TFA.

Re:Interval Training (5, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055285)

Hard interval training is going to do a hell of a lot more for your heart rate than walking, unless, perhaps, you're talking about Olympic class speed walking.

Walking is better than nothing, but it doesn't raise your heart rate nearly as much as running or intensive intervals.

Re:Interval Training (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054605)

HIIT became the magic solution for a while, but the trend has fallen off a bit -- even among weightlifters and powerlifters, most of whom absolutely detest aerobics or most conditioning. There are several problems with interval training. First, you're much more prone to injury doing HIIT than more traditional aerobic exercise. Second, you're still going to have to warm-up and cool down if you want to be reasonably safe, which to most people usually includes low-level aerobics (I recommend also using a foam roller beforehand and only doing stretching after). So your time savings aren't nearly as great as you might think, unless you chuck safety out the window. Third, you're going to get soreness (aka DOMS) as bad as the first time you lift weights. There are probably others I'm forgetting but I'm coincidentally heading off to the gym.
 
I think HIIT has its place, but it's far from a magic bullet. As someone who's spent most of my adult life being a couch potato+cubicle monkey that also hits the gym, in the past couple of years I've realized that you can't really make up for a full day of sitting on your ass in just a few minutes or even an hour. Once I realized that low-level exercise (e.g., walking around) is a key component of healthy living, I started to feel so much better than when my aerobic exercise was jogging a couple of miles or those times I tried HIIT.

Re:Interval Training (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054867)

I remember reading something on slashdot that warming up and doing stretches weren't that good for the body and might do more injuries in the long run. I can't find the article, so I might be wrong.

Re:Interval Training (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055097)

I was going to say the same thing. I couldn't find it, but I remember it, too.

Re:Interval Training (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054781)

Getting your heartrate up is the important bit - use those lungs and get your liver in fighting trim. The more vital you are the better off you are, short and long term.

I'd hate to see research coming out recommending people do as little as possible. It would only confirm to the at-risk group they don't need to work on it. Meanwhile, people I went to high school with are popping their clogs. Geez.

Re:Interval Training (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055323)

I think the point was to see how little is needed to see some benefit, not to recommend that someone who does more than this cut back.

The message is look, you can do this, that doesn't take much time, and it's better than nothing. Although for most people the first few sessions of the recommended exercise might be a bit hellish anyway.

Re:Interval Training (3, Informative)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055031)

This shows a complete lack of understanding of what this training is about. In order to bang out 100 leg presses you have to be working at an extremely low intensity, and banging weights is the way to tear your muscles. High Intensity means doing one set, of very few reps, with moderately heavy weights, moving slowly and smoothly, and maintaining perfect form throughout every motion. This way there is virtually no risk of injury. And then resting for several days to allow the muscles that have been worked hard to recover and rebuild. In fact, even this a overworking; it takes only seconds at maximum capability to produce the desired effect from an exercise.

I work out once a week, for 20 minutes at a time, and have wonderful improvement in my blood pressure and resting pulse rate in the last six months. My endurance in other activities is also improving slowly but surely. And that with no injury whatsoever, though I am sore the next day.

Contrary to descriptions elsewhere on the page, I do no warm-ups or warm-downs, and no stretching before or after exercise. Stretching moves muscles to their weakest positions, which weakens them, and stresses their attachments to bones. Together, this means that stretching both lowers the effectiveness of exercise and raises the likelihood of injury. Don't do it.

Re:Interval Training (4, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055107)

You know, I used to feel the same way (i.e. macros are more important, and as long as you got your nutrients, the source doesn't really matter).

But a while ago, I changed my lifestyle -- vegetarian, gave up alcohol, coffee, and most processed foods, and just started eating healthier foods in general.

I've seen a drastic difference in not just my fitness levels, but also my stamina. I'm having the flu right now, and yet, my buddies and I just had an intense workout out for over an hour at the gym, and I didn't even feel tired.

Things like interval workouts are great, but they only work to an extent. There's something to be said about putting your body in the "zone" (as far as heart rates and muscle groups are concerned) because when you're done thoroughly working out with an entire muscle group, and you'll see much better progress over time. This, of course, is my personal experience and quite anecdotal. YMMV.

Re:Interval Training (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055199)

I walk between the house and the car, and between the car and the office twice a day, five days a week. Surely that's interval training enough. Most times I even carry a satchel.

oh vey (2)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054181)

Researchers have developed a version of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involves one minute of strenuous effort, at about 90 percent of a person's maximum heart rate (which most of us can estimate, very roughly, by subtracting our age from 220), followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery are repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes and the interval training is performed twice a week.

That's way more than I was willing to commit to memory, let alone perform

Re:oh vey (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054719)

Considering that the heart rate is only useful if you bother to measure it,

[ 1 minute high intensity -> 1 minute low intensity ] x 10, twice a week

Re:oh vey (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054893)

me too... brain.lang.StackOverflowError()

Re:oh vey (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054913)

But in the interest of overall health, I am going to kill that mental thread and try what the article suggests. :-)
Otherwise my entire primary thread pool will be deleted.

Don't do this if you're very unfit. (1)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054183)

Isn't this a recipe for a heart attack?

Re:Don't do this if you're very unfit. (2)

RunninBird (2575299) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054275)

Well, 90% of one's max HR is simply that; to a certain point, it'll be higher the more fit you are. So unless you have a heart condition, intervals aren't going to kill you (especially the one minute intervals referenced in the NYT link).

Re:Don't do this if you're very unfit. (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055059)

Well, 90% of one's max HR is simply that; to a certain point, it'll be higher the more fit you are.

No it won't. In fact, as you get fit your max HR may decrease. However, you will be able sustain it much longer. Your heart will become stronger, will move more blood per stroke, and your circulatory resistance will decrease. Your resting HR (and your blood pressure) will drop substantially so that your ratio of max HR to resting HR will increase even if your max HR decreases.

Re:Don't do this if you're very unfit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054299)

RTFS?

both the unfit volunteers and the cardiac patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness

Re:Don't do this if you're very unfit. (3, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054691)

Not unless you have a serious heart condition. It is impossible for a healthy person (no matter how unfit) to injure his heart by working it hard.

Interval training is excellent. I do roughly what the article describes every other day (on the other days I just run two miles). This keeps my blood pressure below 120 and my resting heart rate in the low fifties.

Re:Don't do this if you're very unfit. (1)

Jeffrey_Walsh VA (1335967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054849)

Im not knocking good hard exercice, but
It is impossible for a healthy person (no matter how unfit) to injure his heart by working it hard
seems overreaching. I just found this quote from the American Heart Association:
"Extreme exertion can sometimes cause heart failure in people with normal hearts"

Re:Don't do this if you're very unfit. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055179)

Please provide a link. I can't find that on their site. Google finds the phrase on americanrunning.org but it is not credited to the AHA.

Oh boy! (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054219)

This means running up and down the stairs and to and from my car could be all I need now!.... I hope.

Re:Oh boy! (2)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055079)

Nope. That's the exact opposite of what you need now.

er what? (5, Insightful)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054223)

"Now Gretchen Reynolds reports that instead of wondering just how much exercise people really need in order to gain health and fitness, a group of scientists in Canada are turning that issue on its head and asking, how little exercise do we need to maintain fitness"

How is that 'turning the issue on its head'? It seems to me more like a very minor rephrasing of the question which ultimately makes no difference at all.

Re:er what? (1)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054339)

how much exercise people really need

how little exercise do we need

Gotta love the English language. Much and little are mostly opposite, but mean pretty much the same thing in these contexts.
But yeah, this is totally revolutionary bro.

Re:er what? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054737)

Not really. You dropped the "how", which is important here. "How much" and "how little" are synonyms for "what amount" with different connotations. Most languages have that kind of subtlety as well.

Re:er what? (3, Funny)

snarkh (118018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054959)

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

Re:er what? (1)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055215)

Knowing how to phrase the question is often the most important part of determining the solution.

"How much exercise do we need?" tends to make you look for large and or frequent work out schedules. "How little?" has you looking for the most efficient exercise routine.

They both are looking to solve the same general health question, but they are clearly different enough to lead to different results.

Deskercise is the answer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054271)

That's why some people think deskercise is more important than regular exercise. Especially for people who sit in front of their computer for more than 4 hours. Checkout here : http://redbeep.com .

Define FItness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054273)

Any amount of exercise will improve an unfit person. Fitness = fit for a purpose. What is your purpose?

Re:Define FItness (0)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054401)

Fitness = fit for a purpose. What is your purpose?

Let's start by getting the average American to be able to climb a flight of stairs without needing to catch their breath, and see where we go from there.

Re:Define FItness (4, Informative)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054635)

Define Fitness

Defined:

Despite these differences, both protocols induced similar increases (P < 0.05) in mitochondrial markers for skeletal muscle CHO (pyruvate dehydrogenase E1alpha protein content) and lipid oxidation (3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase maximal activity) and protein content of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha. Glycogen and phosphocreatine utilization during exercise were reduced after training, and calculated rates of whole-body CHO and lipid oxidation were decreased and increased, respectively, with no differences between groups (all main effects, P < 0.05).

Re:Define FItness (1)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055091)

Shh. Don't confuse them with actual facts.

Re:Define FItness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055335)

I bet you're young; you seem to have missed the moment in history when Scientific Research went from objective truth seeking to whoring itself for fame and peer-reviewed notoriety.

Screw your actual facts. America is a nation of fat slobs, and I'm going to have to pay for their insurance claims. Now, back to your xbox.

Call Dr. Watson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054277)

Now that's how Sherlock Holmes was able to run like the hare and yet not exercise. Oh wait so many others know this secret an entire generation of geek comic book heroes did it too!!! Alas the secret is in the open, we will be teaming with too many more geeks on the streets. Too few criminals.

Too much exercise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054287)

reading that whole thing.

Why don't I exercise? (2, Interesting)

GamemakerSupreme (2575291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054313)

Because I think it's boring. It's not that I don't have the time, but I would just rather be doing other things. I think a lot of people who say, "I don't have the time" are like that, too.

Other things like commenting on Slashdot, yes.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054585)

Caffeine(as natural as possible, not that "energy drink" shit) and music greatly enhance the experience. In fact, outside of work I cannot do "boring" exercises like running without them. There has to me some music that gets you pumped.

However, it helps to also have a "fun" way to exercise, kayak surfing in my case.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (2)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054723)

Oh no! Ethanol-fueled is a goat boater!

Re:Why don't I exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055241)

A goat-boater who doesn't wear a wetsuit in seventy-degree water like the "real" surfers here do.

I'm gettin' sprayed and dumped into 58-degree or less water(surfed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days last year before dinner) , full of storm-runoff sewage pollution, and all of the "real" surfers are wearing hoodies and booties and full wetsuits. I'm in the soup with nothing on but a pair of boardshorts.

Granted, I'm not exactly surfing at Trestles - but any self-respecting surfer wearing a wetsuit in 70 degree water ought to be beat to death by the Bird Rock Crew [msn.com] [bullshit warning] and hung out to dry.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Why don't I exercise? (2)

c4tp (526292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055077)

This. And if there isn't some form of calorie burning activity that interests you enough to do (while adding the fact that you'll probably live longer if you do it), you just aren't trying very hard.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055313)

Caffeine(as natural as possible, not that "energy drink" shit)

What the fuck is that even supposed to mean? It's 1,3,7-trimethyxanthine--where it comes from doesn't make a bit of difference. You can complain about the other stuff in those drinks, but the caffeine is exactly the same.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054741)

> Because I think it's boring.

You'll find diabetes and heart disease boring as well. But don't worry: Alzheimer's will help you forget the boredom.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (2)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055159)

Of course it's boring when you start out. It's like everything else. When you start programming, you don't start writing game engines -- you start with the basics.

When you start working out, you start with the basics, such as cardio and working your basic muscle groups. But over time, you will get in good enough shape that you can start doing interesting things.

In fact, even if you just played a fast-moving sport regularly, you'll see a great improvement (think soccer or tennis, not baseball or golf).

One of the best hobbies I picked up was rock climbing. It's intense, and works all your muscle groups. And you work your legs, your upper body, and your core. Over time, you just get better and better, and you realize that your gym time actually helps you perform better at your choice sport.

Personally, I find that I can run more without tiring, that I am just stronger and have more stamina, for all activities. ;-) Plus, girls love washboard abs.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055193)

Because I think it's boring.

Then join a game of ultimate, or basketball, or shinny.

Seriously, there are plenty of ways to get off your ass that you'd probably enjoy more than going to the gym.

Re:Why don't I exercise? (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055331)

If it's boring, then you're doing it wrong. Find something that's fun to do - like riding a bike, basketball, soccer, playing frisbee with your dog... You get the idea.

Slow burn fitness... (2, Interesting)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054361)

...30 minutes a week, every week for the past 3 years, and still getting stronger every week. Slow strength training is by far the most effective exercise I've encountered so far, and the benefits for just 30 minutes a week are *crazy*.

http://slowburnfitness.com/ [slowburnfitness.com]

No, I don't get kickbacks, but I'm forever grateful to Fred Hahn for figuring this crap out.

Re:Slow burn fitness... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054589)

No, I don't get kickbacks

Then uh, can you tell us what it is instead of linking to his site where we need to pay money to get any information whatsoever? I'm sure it's not a secret, even if the author wants it to be (and if it is, there's no way it works; if a routine works, people gush about it all over the Internet).

Sex (5, Funny)

BitHive (578094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054369)

It sounds like this regimen could be incorporated into sex, or masturbation if you're creative.

preemptive "slashdot readers don't have sex, lol"

Re:Sex (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054415)

Put weights on your arm. You'll go blind AND have large muscles.

Re:Sex (2)

tool462 (677306) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054555)

We may be able to pull off, literally, a 1 minute burst of activity near our max heart rate. The problem is being able to do 10 of those with only 1 minute of rest in between.

Re:Sex (1)

Aguazul (620868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054779)

Let's see how your GF adapts to alternating between one minute intense activity and one minute rest for 20 mins. (Maybe necessary to check out Mantak Chia for endurance tips?) Suggestion: Try not to let her notice you watching the clock to maintain the correct timing. Actually, running up stairs at every opportunity seems like it might fit as well.

Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054475)

20 minutes assuming you get instant access to whatever weights and machines you need. Most gyms have pests that will slow you down. Then add another 20 minutes showering and getting dressed. Don't forget getting there and changing. So it's more like an hour.

Re:Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054835)

I perform my HIIT routine in the morning right when I get out of bed and it requires no gym or equipment. It really is just 20 minutes.

Re:Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055039)

Go outside and do running HIIT.

While that 40 minutes a week might help the heart (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054543)

.... I highly doubt it would do anything to resolve any actual obesity.

I've made a point of exercising a lot lately... and I've found that my endurance has gone up considerably since I started, but I'm just as fat as I ever was. At least I'm not gaining any more weight... still undesirably obese though.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054647)

The problem with American eating habits is almost surely the massive amounts of carbs that we take in. Shoot for 100 grams of carbs per day for the next month and see what happens. 100 grams is below the recommended amount, but is not the dangerous atkins-level no-carb deprivation.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

mrsnak (1818464) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054649)

.... I highly doubt it would do anything to resolve any actual obesity.

I've made a point of exercising a lot lately... and I've found that my endurance has gone up considerably since I started, but I'm just as fat as I ever was. At least I'm not gaining any more weight... still undesirably obese though.

The only way to lose weight is to eat less than your body can burn.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054689)

The only way to lose weight is to eat less than your body can burn.

And excretes.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054749)

Try a radical wheat-ectomy: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/ [wheatbellyblog.com]

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054947)

Right, because the people who ate wheat for thousands of years are all wrong.

Next you'll tell me that vaccines are bad for me and peanuts are poison

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054755)

HIIT targets different muscle fibers and produces a much different hormonal response in the body than slow cardio. Some research has growth hormone increases of 700% in older women performing a 20 minute HIIT routine three times a week.

Here [youtube.com] 's a video that goes into a bit more depth. (Mercola is a bit of a jackass, but Phil Campbell is a badass.)

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054765)

I've made a point of exercising a lot lately... and I've found that my endurance has gone up considerably since I started, but I'm just as fat as I ever was.

Fat, or heavy?

I lost 10 lbs of fat from a year of biking to work, but my total weight didn't change at all because I gained 10 lbs of muscle. That wasn't a bad trade.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054807)

Keep it up, Bro. May I suggest you grab a protein shake as soon after exercising as possible - but use this as a meal replacement. And cut out high carb snacks between meals. It can be fun to be slightly hungry, especially when your fitness is improving! Regardless, I know some big guys who race bikes and whup the skinny guys.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054827)

Obviously you've probably heard a million different bits of dieting advice, so one more will probably go unheeded, but have you tried cutting out high calorie beverages? After gaining 30 lbs in a year by eating at restaurants too often while traveling, I've dropped 20 lbs by reducing my calorie intake without reducing the amount I eat or increasing my exercise simply by only drinking zero calorie drinks (with occasional beers as exceptions). By my estimation, that change has cut about 500 calories a day from my diet, which is supposedly a difference of about a pound a week, without making me feel any hungrier.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054989)

Just pay attention to what you're putting in yourself for awhile and avoid the obvious highly dense problematic foods. Also apply the ancient rules regarding sweets and snacking between meals.

Most people get fat and stay fat because of bad habits.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (2)

The Raven (30575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054937)

You're confusing 'fit' with 'slim'. Many people do. It's completely possible to have a healthy cardiac system (the most important part), but be quite obese. How thin you are is mainly a function of diet; how healthy you are is mainly a function of exercise. They have significant correlation, but they are distinct data points with separate causes.

The more important of the two for health is your cardiac fitness. The more desirable of the two in social situations is your BMI. Choose wisely.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055051)

The thing about exercise and diet as a way to lose weight is this:

The purpose of the exercise portion is to build muscle mass because muscle requires more calories than not-muscle does to maintain - so, by having more muscle you burn more calories all the time, at rest, when active, whatever.

The diet portion means to figure out what you actually need to take in and to do so with proper nutrition.

If you're right now obese and starting an exercise routine, the best thing would be lots and lots of weight lifting while simultaneously modifying your diet to eat as much as you do now, just healthier stuff that will also help muscle development.

Cardio and the like is good for fitness - indeed, add 2x IIT sessions per week just to improve your overall health and conditioning - but it's not really all that good for losing weight.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055099)

Also, good on ya for starting to exercise!

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055167)

Exercise has almost nothing to do with weight/fat. If you exercise, you work up an appetite and eat more. Study after study has shown that adding exercise rarely results in any significant amount of weight loss unless food intake is also addressed.

Exercise is for fitness, diet is for fat loss.

If you want to slim down, cut the sugars and starches. If you want strong and efficient muscles, exercise intensely once or twice a week. As long as you are getting sufficient protein, plenty of calories (from fat), and vitamins and minerals (from meats and vegetables), you'll do fine.

Just compare that with the average American diet. Loads of sugar and useless carbs like bread, pasta, and potatoes. Tasty as fuck, but horrible for your health.

Used to be a time when everybody knew this. If you wanted more weight, you ate pasta and bread. Now we eat that shit way too much, and now we all wonder how to slim down, because the normal meal for, a fat guy from the 1950s is a normal meal for everyone today.

Exercise is important, but it will never make you slim.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055309)

IMHO, the obesity epidemic can be summed up by "exercise-diet mismatch". We Americans are still eating like our farming grandparents did (worse even), yet with modern conveniences and a sedentary lifestyle. I still sigh when people act astonished upon hearing that someone walked a mile rather than driving (then offer to drive them back).

For you, don't forget that water, muscle, bone, and fat all contribute to weight. Exercise increases muscle mass (which increases bone mass), so your weight may not change (or increase even) despite losing fat. Visceral fat is also more highly associated with disease, and less noticeable if you lose it. More muscle equals a higher basal metabolic rate and exercise capacity, which should lead to even greater fat loss. Keep at it, and the results will show. For now, take comfort in knowing that even a small amount of fat loss has measurable and positive health effects.

Re:While that 40 minutes a week might help the hea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055367)

Exercise doesn't help as much as people imagine. You need to spend stupid amount of time to get enough exercise in order to make a significant dent on your daily energy balance.
Energy gained by food is by far, the biggest factor. If you cut income by a small amount and keep it that way, your body weight will reflect it.

Canadian Air Force (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054563)

Isn't this basically the same idea as the Canadian Air Force exercise program of the 50s?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5BX [wikipedia.org]

Official Training Guide (5, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054655)

Refrigerator door pull:
1. Stand with your feet evenly in front of the icebox. Pull door open, check whats inside. Close the door.
2. Pull open, retrieve one of the 6pack. Close door.
3. Pull open, get salsa. Close door.
4. Pull open, get lime. Close door.
5. When it's time for next bottle/can, repeat #2.

Sixteen ounce wrist curls:
1. Pop open that beer/soda/caffeinated drink. 6 reps, one for each gulp, right wrist first.
2. Do 6 reps for left wrist as well.

Use your imagination, and your regular work area could be a workout area as well. Practice saying, "Yeah, I work out" with the intensity showing in your eyes.

H.I.I.T. or S.H.I.T.? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054693)

high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Why does this remind me of the old joke about Specialized High Intensity Training [jimpoz.com] ?

So that 4min bicycle thing isnt a scam after all? (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054785)

So I guess that super expensive bicycle thing I see advertized in magazines might actually not be a placebo/scam?

Re:So that 4min bicycle thing isnt a scam after al (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054953)

You don't need any gadgets: just a stretch of road and a supply of self-discipline.

220-Age is not accurate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054819)

Max HR varies tremendously from person to person. I'm 44 and my calculated goal HR would be 158.4 ((220-44)*0.9), but I regularly train at a HR of 185-190 and have a max HR of probably 200 or so.

Too bad they didn't measure BDNF (4, Informative)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054825)

Most of the /. readers are concerned about age-related cognitive decline -- either that or they've already declined cognitively to the point that they should forget about /. and turn on the TV.

The best way, currently known, to slow age-related cognitive decline is exercise because it produces Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor.

But did TFA even mention BDNF?

nnnnnnaaaaaaaaOOOOOOOOOOHHHHhhhhhh

Maybe the author should exercise more.

Seriously science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054869)

That is certainly a clever way to say it but all you did was prove that exercise is good for you! We already knew that.

There are countless types of exercise, their example takes 20 minutes. If you are willing to workout 20 minutes a few times a week you can do it using any method you like! This study is silly lol.

Wood stove (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054895)

I heat with a wood stove. This sounds just like my normal day of carrying firewood. (Maple ain't light.)

20 minutes twice a week? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054909)

Oddly enough, that is how I start after I've been away for a while (often due to unusual work pressures or injury - @@#^%%$ P90X) - I swim, and alternate 50s of freestyle (usu to 80-90%) and breaststroke (about 70-75%) on the minute, taking breaks every 5 minutes until I drop below 60%, then another set.

Still, even when I'm in my best shape, I'm rarely doing more than 35-40 minutes total workout (prob ~30 minutes actual swimming, ~ 1 mile) 3X a week.

Yes but (3, Interesting)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054917)

Maybe it is true that 10x1 min high-intensity training is just as good as 20, 30 or even 40 minutes of easier training.

But for most people I am not sure if it is any more fun or easier to commit to.

As a pretty serious long distance runner (running Boston Marathon this spring), I don't doubt that intervals can make me faster and I will do some before the race, but that is easily the worst part of my training. It is just very unpleasant to run at >90% of max capacity. I even prefer 15 mile long runs over intervals.

Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055005)

This is not new. Programs like "Body for Life" and P90X have shown how successful this approach can be. Diet does matter. So does alcohol consumption.

Re:Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39055343)

This is not new. Programs like "Body for Life" and P90X have shown how successful this approach can be. Diet does matter. So does alcohol consumption.

Please do share, especially if alcohol consumption has a good impact.

Whatever, it misses the key problem. (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055095)

WTF is worng with the human body? It should let me do what I do, not what my great great great great grand fathers did. For all the virtues that are claimed about exercice the fact remains it is a bother...

Please doctors, just fix the whole excercise problem. But fix the sleeping problem first, that easly consumes more lifetimes than excercise all types of cancer combined.

Wow! (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055141)

The 90s called and wanted their exercise article back.

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