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How Much Exercise? ~ [Issue 1199-4]  Wellness Weekly
 Nov 24, 1999 09:51 PST 

In fact, the question may actually be: "How often is enough?"
According to fitness expert, Jaime Brenkus, small amounts of exercise
more often is where it is at. And he should know. Jaime speaks as a
certified health and fitness instructor from the American College of
Sports Medicine, the national standard for sports team trainers at
the professional and collegiate levels, physical therapists and
top-quality fitness experts.

New research backs him up, too. The American College of Sports
Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control have revised the
exercise standards of the eighties. It is no longer considered
necessary to work out for at least an hour three times a week. The
newest research shows that you can achieve the same beneficial
cardiovascular effect by doing ten minute bouts of exercise several
times during the week. Such exercise could be as simple as a brisk
ten minute walk or stationary bike ride in the morning and evening.
It is now known that the effects of exercise are cumulative. That is
good news indeed, because most people find it hard to dedicate
significant amounts of time at any one session.

New research also shows the value of aerobic exercise in maintaining
healthy cholesterol levels. For instance, people who walk a mile in
twenty minutes improve their good cholesterol, the high density
lipoproteins (HDL's), just as much as those who covered the mile in
almost half the time. Most of the benefit of exercise comes from
doing a little bit.

Ten minute workouts are state-of-the-art today. Why? One reason is
that people will do them. And keep in mind that the benefits of
exercise are cumulative. Think about it: if you exercise six times
per week for ten minutes each time, over the course of a week you
have completed one hour of body conditioning. That is more than most
do. Getting ten minutes in during your lunch break is easy.
Activities like climbing a few stairs, walking across parking lots,
mowing the grass, all add up.

"We are talking about pure physics," says Brenkus. "What is the
difference if you work out three times a week for thirty minutes or
nine times for ten minutes? And, nine times is less than just ten
minutes in the morning and evening, Monday through Friday. Combined
with sensible eating and taking quality supplements, fitness is a no-brainer."

The days between Thanksgiving and New Year usually take their toll on
our waistline. As we face the most difficult time of the year for
staying fit, make it your commitment to get as many of those short
ten minute bouts in as often as you can. They will go a long way
toward keeping your holidays happy and your body feeling good.
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