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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?

If finding the time to head to the gym is stressing you out then this roundup of studies from WebMD will please you. See, the thing is, it's not always quantity that matters, but the qualitity. And in the case of exercise the old adage is true, "something is better than nothing." Here are highlights:

  • A study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2006 showed that short walks after dinner were more effective than long exercise sessions in reducing the amount of fat and triglyceride levels in the bloodstream after a hearty meal.
  • Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that short bouts of exercise helped lower blood pressure as well as shave inches off the hips and waistline.

There's more so


  • In a study published in Preventive Medicine in 2006, researchers found that multiple workout sessions as short as 6 minutes apiece could help sedentary adults reach fitness goals similar to those achieved by working out for 30 minutes at a time.
  • In a finding published in the journal Psychopharmacology, doctors found that short bursts of exercise could help reduce the craving for cigarettes and help people quit smoking.


Join The Conversation
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 8 years
I ride my elliptical for 120 minutes a day - oh that sounds dirty ;-)
BarboraZ BarboraZ 8 years
i like to do both: taking a short walk AND exercising for a long time...but I agree that all these new studies just confuse everyone.i don't know who to listen to either :/
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I like the "high" working out gives me too. It's really hard for me to get my heart rate elevated enough by doing something for only 6 minutes...I have to go for like 20 minutes or so at LEAST.
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 8 years
I feel the same...I don't know what or who to listen to anymore :(
Evalicious Evalicious 8 years
I like the "HIGH" also! Especially afterwards when I get to go home and take a shower with my hubby.
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
I agree with Puddlesworth. These studies seem to say different things all the time.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
Everybody keeps saying different stuff. I don't care about new studies anymore.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
maybe a nice walk after dinner would be great once the weather cools off a bit around here, in addition to my regular 45 minutes session every afternoon.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
This wouldn't work for me. I like exercise because of the natural "high" I get. Six minutes is not going to ramp me to that high. For me, I need a minimum of 30 minutes to get to that high, and sustaining it for a satisfying amount of time. I love that sense of well-being. The effect lingers after I stopped exercising.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
This is good for people who are intimidated by exercise. It can be so much at first, so just taking a walk after dinner isn't too bad. And different things work for different people. I lost the most weight when I was running. It could be the same time, same HR on the elliptical but I would lose weight on the treadmill. I wish i could run again, but the beginning of bone spurs, Tenosyovitis and unexplained heel pain has me sidelined. bummer.
Mmmarshmallow Mmmarshmallow 8 years
ROFL Jeny! Isn't the goal just to elevate your heart rate? However long it takes? I do a considerable amount of training, though I'm training for an ocean swim and a half marathon so naturally, 6 minute walks aren't going to cut it. I wonder if they measured change in heart rate for the 6 minute bouts and the single 30 minute workout when they made their comparisons. They might turn out to be a similar change, which may explain the 'reach fitness goals similar to those achieved by working out for 30 minutes at a time'. I personally don't think the time is the factor, it's the heartrate.
Jeny Jeny 8 years
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
i wish i didn't need exercise.. but.. since i do, i learn to like it, and learn to do it smarter too. :)
nals33 nals33 8 years
I like my 30-min cardio sessions a bit more..only because I've worked them into my schedule. I can't really think of a time when I could get away from my desk and walk for 6 minutes 5 times a day at the moment... But this is definitely good to know in case I want to change up my workout routine to be less time consuming!
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