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Good News: Ten-Minute Workouts May Really Work

July 30, 2012
Plain English Version

“Every four years, the summer Olympics get people excited about exercise,” says a scientist. But “within a few weeks, most people have quit.” He wondered whether shorter, more frequent exercise sessions would be effective. A new study by the same scientist about exercise and high blood pressure says such sessions would help.

He studied a group of volunteer adults who were all healthy except for early symptoms of high blood pressure. They were told to walk briskly for ten minutes three times a day. The walks should achieve 75 percent of their maximum heart rate (see chart). On a separate day, the volunteers did one session of 30-minutes of brisk walking. On a final day, they did not exercise at all.

Breaking up the workout into three short sessions was more effective in reducing high blood pressure than the single 30-minute session.

Other studies are showing that short, repeated exercise sessions produce great benefits. For children and teens, frequently running at least five minutes helped with cholesterol, weight loss and lowered blood pressure. Other studies found short exercise routines help control weight in older women.

The scientist said, “You are not going to make it to the Olympics. You will be healthier. You will not be an athlete.” Many people will settle for that.”

The New York Times

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