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Wellness

Why You Should Exercise More

Many fitness and health experts recommend spending 30 to 60 minutes on “active rest”, such as anaerobic exercise, every day.

But how much of your “active rest” do you actually accomplish?

The authors found that the amount of time spent engaging in aerobic activity (that is, walking or running) ranged from only about 1% of our total daily time activity to up to 14% – about the same amount of time as we spent sleeping and eating.

The authors found that the amount of time spent engaging in aerobic activity (that is, walking or running) ranged from only about 1% of our total daily time activity to up to 14% – about the same amount of time as we spent sleeping and eating. The amount of actual exercise we performed, however, varied widely across subjects.

The authors found that the actual amount of time we spent engaging in aerobic activity (that is, walking or running) ranged from only about 1% of our total daily time activity to up to 14% – about the same amount of time as we spent sleeping and eating.

As to why so many activities aren’t as effective, some of it may have to do with exercise duration.  “It is known that aerobic workouts are more effective at shorter activity durations than anaerobic exercises at longer duration,”  they write.  So it may not be as effective to walk for 30 minutes an hour compared to 60 minutes an hour.  Or it may mean, as the authors suggest, that “it may be more advantageous to combine aerobics with a longer duration.”

When researchers tested the effect of different aerobic exercise methods, the combination of aerobics, strength training, and resistance training was less effective than either type alone.  The scientists point out, however, that strength training, specifically, tends to be more effective than aerobics.  They suggest, “that the beneficial effects of resistance training on blood lactate concentration could also be mediated by the aerobic exercise, as the increased lactate production during aerobic exercise may contribute to cardiovascular adaptations (reduction in heart rate, systolic blood pressure) that would benefit resistance training.”

Another area the authors focused on is how our perception of how much exercise is enough influences our adherence to that exercise regimen.  “Exercise intensity did not influence the likelihood of becoming physically active, but perceived intensity of exercise may influence activity adherence to some extent,”  they write.  “This could be explained by the fact that perceived intensity may help improve physical activity adherence by motivating behavior change and/or by influencing the decision to start or increase activity.”

The researchers found that the amount of time it takes people to exercise depends on the type of exercise.  For instance, a walking bout of 60 minutes can be completed in 3.6 minutes, which isn’t nearly as quick as walking at an average pace of 26.9 miles per hour.  Also, the amount of active rest that is required to burn off the amount of fat we shed may also vary from person to person.

That’s why this study is so important.  The more information we can have about how much exercise we’re actually doing, the better off our health.  Even if you don’t feel like spending time on aerobics, you can at least give it a shot.

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