Exercise Just 10 Minutes Multiple Times a Day for Better Health
We are all aware that exercise is important for us not only for the sake of good looks, but also to maintain a healthy life. But then, not many people find the time to follow a structured and strict regime of exercising. However, researchers say that it is not necessary for a person to follow a structured pattern of exercising or to give away a chunk of time everyday to physical activity. If one has a lifestyle that includes active engagement in physical activity for less than 10 minutes multiple times a day, they can benefit in the same way as they would from more structured exercise.
"There were little differences in levels of health outcomes between those who received moderate to intense levels of physical activity in 10 minute bouts or longer compared to those who were physically active in shorter bouts of activity," said lead author Paul D. Loprinzi, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of exercise science at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.
"This suggests that shorter bouts of about activity of 150 minutes a week may be just as beneficial as engaging in fewer bouts of longer duration."
For the study, the researchers analyzed data of 6,321 subjects aged between 18 and 85 years, whose activity levels were measured along with blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol levels.
It was found that people who engaged in an 'active lifestyle', comprising of multiple bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity lasting less than 10 consecutive minutes, had the same benefits and improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and other health measures as those who exercised more structurally and for longer durations.
"This research demonstrates the same findings I regularly see in my practice," said Laura Pady-Porter, M.S., a clinical exercise physiologist at the University of Wisconsin Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
"As health care providers, we are still telling our patients to exercise for 30 minutes daily and are not taking into account busy schedules, health concerns or general deconditioning levels."
She further said both consumers and health care professionals should be aware that 10-minute exercise done several times a day is just as beneficial as 30-minute minimum bouts a day.
"I continue to be amazed when patients say they have never been informed that 10 minute bouts of physical activity can be just as beneficial as 'suffering' through 30 minutes of consecutive exercise," said Pady-Porter.
"Once I explain the option of several 10 minute sessions, I see better compliance."
Regular exercise not only benefits a person's health, it can improve their overall quality of life. But one of the biggest barriers to getting people moving is their attitude about exercise.
"A person's attitude or beliefs can hold them back from being active," said Loprinzi. "Our findings are particularly informative as an individual who perceives him or herself to be too busy to be active may still be able to enhance their healthy by adopting an active lifestyle approach."
The findings of the study were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.