Minimal Exercise

Take A Few Minutes To Exercise — Hard And Fast — And You're Done

Kim Williams, a trainer at Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas, Texas, demonstrates her boxing technique on Friday, July 26, 2013. (Rex C. Curry/Dallas Morning News/MCT)

In the futuristic world of winsome dreams, cheeseburgers have single-digit calories; workouts, single-digit minutes.

Well, hold tight to your jet pack. The magic wand has been waved — not for cheeseburgers but for workouts.

Cases in point:

Research published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal touts the effectiveness of a strength-training workout using only body weight and lasting merely seven — albeit very uncomfortable — minutes.

A Norwegian study found that four minutes of high-intensity activity — heart rate at 90 percent of maximum capacity — shares similar benefits to four such efforts separated by three minutes of downtime.

The benefits of high-intensity training have been known for a while, experts tell us. But in our busy lives, new research on shorter and shorter workouts continues to tantalize, especially when compared with the 150 weekly minutes of exercise recommended by the ACSM.

Three months after “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout” story appeared in the New York Times magazine and its Well blog (wellblog.nytimes.com[1]), it’s still among the top five viewed stories on the newspaper’s health website.

Don’t let the numbers fool you, experts caution. Caveats abound.

“What’s important to remember is that there’s no magic in any of this,” says Allen Jackson, chairman of the department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation at the University of North Texas.

The point, he says, “is getting active, the muscle groups you’re working, the specificity of training.”

It’s also the level of intensity, which, to be effective, has to be extreme. Four minutes at 90 percent of maximum heart rate is hardly casual.

“That’s the highest range of intensity that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends,” he says. “The highest! The highest! That’s Michael Phelps!”

DOSE AND FREQUENCY

Benjamin Levine, medical director of the Institute of Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, puts it this way:

“Here’s the deal. We talk about exercise as medicine. Like any drug, exercise has a dose and a frequency. You can take a baby aspirin once a night or two to four times a day and get different effects.

“Exercise is the same. Different types of exercise probably affect different systems in different ways,” he said.

Working out for the 150 recommended minutes spread over a week, for example, burns more calories than the shorter bursts. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re exercising to lose or maintain weight.

The trick of intervals, Levine says, is that they “allow you to do something harder for a short period of time and allow you to build up to that level of intensity. If it’s just longer periods of lower intensity you do, you’ll never be able to do more.”

Plus, the shorter bursts offer positive physiological results.

“When you do high-intensity aerobic intervals, you have a nice change in the heart,” Levine says. “The heart muscle gets stronger, your muscles get stronger and better able to utilize oxygen.”

Without a doubt, Jackson says, “short bouts of intensive activity have performance benefits and health and fitness benefits. It’s true.”

POTENTIAL RISKS

There are problems inherent with these, he cautions: a “potential risk for injury” or a “cardiovascular event” be-cause the heart is working extremely hard.

“More moderate, longer-term exercise will have lower risk for injury. Joggers get injured. Walkers don’t very much. The drawback? It takes more time, and time is definitely a barrier.”

Still, saying a workout will last four minutes, or seven, or even shorter periods of time isn’t entirely accurate, Levine says.

“Of course, you have to warm up. There’s recovery between,” he says. “Nobody should think you put on your shoes and in four minutes you’ll be finished.”

Additionally, these aren’t workouts just anyone can plunge right into, Jackson says.

“My concerns are about injury and about someone who really isn’t ready to do a high-intensity exercise bout,” he says. “You just can’t start that off. It just isn’t a good idea, especially when you talk about sedentary people going all-out.”

Still, he and Levine do agree that shorter stints can have a place in a workout regimen.

“Four minutes,” he says, “would be better than no minutes. But make sure you’re ready to do those four minutes.”

WORKOUT TIPS

Here are tips for incorporating single-digit workouts into your own regimen:

Go slowly. If you’re just starting out, do each segment slower. As you build strength and confidence, pick up the speed.

Use it on a time-strapped day. “If you’re normally a jogger but can’t do your 30 minutes and can get a hard run of four or five minutes in? Sure, do it,” Jackson says.

Build in intensity. That’s the principle of interval training, he says. “Swim two lengths easy, one hard.”

Try the four-minute-intervals-four-times workout. “We affectionately call it the 4-by-4,” says Levine, who incorporates this at least weekly into his other training. For the four-minute segments, go all-out. Between each, go slower — heart rate at 50 or 60 percent of maximum — for three minutes. As each four-minute segment winds down, you should feel ready to stop, he says. At the end of the three-minute cool-downs, “you should be able to say, ‘OK, I’m ready to go again.’ ”

GOT A MINUTE?

You can find an abundance of short-and-not-so-sweet workouts online. We asked Kim Williams, a personal trainer with Baylor Health Care System, to recommend one on the longer side — a whopping 10 minutes.

If you prefer, you can do half in the morning and repeat the workout later in the day. On the boxing moves mentioned, you can punch the air if you don’t have a punching bag handy.

Minute 1: Jump rope.

Minutes 2-5: Alternate 20 seconds of each of these moves with 10 seconds of rest: Jabs, cross, right hook, left hook, jump squat, push-up, mountain climber, burpee (a move combining a squat thrust, push-up and jump).

Minutes 6-10: Repeat minutes 1 through 5.

References

  1. ^ wellblog.nytimes.com (wellblog.nytimes.com)

Original Story Here

Resources:

Quick Summer Workout Tips – Age Management Institute

When it comes to summer, we all want to be looking our best. However, with the heat, it can be hard to stay motivated to workout the AC just feels so good! We are here to help though! Here are some tips to get your workouts in while the … http://renoami.com/quick-summer-workout-tips/

Fitness Assault: Pre-Workout Motivation And Training Tips

Attack your workouts with this supercharged collection of fitness tips, tricks, and muscle-building motivation! Don't approach your goals; assault them. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-assault-pre-workout-motivation-and-tips.html

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      I suggest you eat bread buns for lunch daily. the buns will give your butt a boost in self confidence. it will then want to sit more and you will make more biscuits. dogs love biscuits. and i love dogs. i dont understand how hard it is. by the way, dont use recycle bins..use regular bins to dispose your old buns. or take then to the local park to feed to the birds. its great to give back to nature!! give back! NOW!i demand you leave at once. you are breaking and entering!!

      View Comment
  2. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      I saw an interview with Fergie not long ago. She said that using the uphill setting on a treadmill is what gave her her glorious booty. My friend has been doing just this for a few months and i’m already seeing results. It works the thighs and hips too!

      View Comment
    • Aslan
    • September 2, 2013
    Reply

    Any Good Workout Tips For Men? I need workout tips that I can use at home and that works.

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      Eat healthy. consume a little more protein (meat) than usual. Work out helps but working out is about your body fat percentage. Eating healthy is the main thing, then work out. Two strengths when combined, result in that figure your looking for. When you work out don’t do the same routine work out everyday. alternate between 3 days and do different things each of the three days. like Monday do crunches, Tuesday sit ups, Wednesday go for a run. then Thursday go back to crunches. You can do more than one thing a day certainly but don’t do the exact same workout everyday. Your body gets use to it. Mix things up. Eat a healthy breakfast. Eggs, bacon, milk, orange juice. that sort of thing. Just combine eating healthy with work out and you should see results in the first few days.

      View Comment
    • Ben
    • September 2, 2013
    Reply

    How Can I Get A Good Source Of Carbohydrates And Proteins, Plus Workout Tips? I am wanting to start working out and getting healthy and gain lean muscle mass but i don’t really know what foods i should eat before and after a workout to get a good serving of protein and carbohydrates. so anyone who is maybe an athlete or just trying to get healthy too share some meal ideas? and maybe a few workout tips? thank you.

    By the way I’m a 19 year old male weighing in at about 164lbs and about 5’7″ if that helps
    Oh and i have access to workout equipment like dumbbells, that machine where you work out your legs by pushing weights with them, (don’t know what its called) treadmills, and those stationary bikes and an elliptical.

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      I’ll give you a list of some common foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and take notes because it’s great for you to add them to your meal plan:

      Oatmeal
      Pasta
      Macaroni
      Spaghetti
      Rice
      Potatoes
      Bread
      Home-Made Pizza
      Cereal
      Bran
      Wheat
      Corn
      Yam
      Peas
      Beans
      Lentils
      Vegetables

      The above mentioned foods make your stomach full for a few hours. They make you have a slow digestion. So it’s good for those who want to slow down their metabolism. These foods are also beneficial for those who want to build muscle because they are great sources of energy for your body and muscles.

      Now I’m going to give you a list of foods high in protein that you should make sure you add to your meal plan. These foods are very important to build muscle mass.

      Here is the list:

      Eggs
      Ham
      Sausages (healthy choices)
      Seafood (Fish, Calamari, Octopus, Salmon, etc.)
      Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, etc.)
      Beef
      Pork
      Tofu
      Peanut Butter
      Dairy Products
      Protein Shakes
      Protein Bars
      Liquid Protein

      As you can see there are many sources of proteins. So I recommend that you choose various, not just one.

      Doing combinations of these foods high in complex carbs and proteins will be the best way to create your meal plan.

      Three other foods you might want to add to your meal plan are:

      Ice creams
      Smoothies
      Yogurts

      These 3 are very good and delicious.

      Workout Tips:

      Get your form straight before you go heavy
      Progression is key – Add weight or reps when you can.
      Don’t get greedy – This is a long game. Adding too much too soon can leave you injured
      Eat. Adjust as needed.
      Focus. Gym time is work time. Socialization is fine, but spend time under the bar.
      Don’t buffet train – You don’t need to hit your biceps from 8 different angles, you need to get your primary lifts up.
      Get brutally strong – Your chest isn’t impressed with 15 pound flyes. Get your lifts up and good things will happen.
      Have fun – If you hate your time in the gym, you aren’t likely to make much progress.

      View Comment
    • Deej
    • September 2, 2013
    Reply

    What Are Some Good Workout Tips That Will Help Me Get Into Shape Quick? Im 22 5’6″ and weigh 178lbs. im sick of being fat and repulsed when i look in the mirror at my body. i just would like to know some great workout tips to help me get fit and lose about 40 lbs in 2 months

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      Well the best way to lose weight is to run everyday morning and night or after for hour and of course you wont be able to run the whole 1 hour as your not in shape yet so try to run for 30 minutes or more if you can and then walk for like 10 minutes and then run until you get to an hour and if your finally able to run the whole 1 hour start running for 2 hours

      also start weight lifting as well as muscle burns fat so just get normal 15 lb or lighter if its to heavy and do curls dumbbell presses etc and most important of all do free weights such as push ups and if your unable to do allot of push ups do like 10 rest 10 seconds 10 rest 10 rest until you get to 100 or 200 if you can also get a bar and try to do pull ups front wards and you probably wont be able to so try really hard and go to the top and go down slowly, and you will have to do ab workouts like crunches and raise your legs

      and do a quick warm up and and stretch before you lift and also with running do a quick warm up run like 10 minutes then stretch and start your 1 hour run

      the other most important key fact to weight loss is a big change in your diet which mean more calories out then in so no to any fast food for the rest of your life unless you want be fat the rest of your life, don’t eat any junk foods high in fat like donuts and stuff like that because if your going to be burning like 1000 calories and then eating 3000 calories you wont be losing fat but instead just gaining fat and the only difference will be you will be gaining 10 lbs everyday instead of 5 lbs

      what you should eat is salad fruit vegetables yogurt eat meat but not one in a kfc bucket a kind that homemade eat eggs also good in protein

      follow these steps and i guarantee you of you being fit

      View Comment
    • Stacy
    • September 2, 2013
    Reply

    Does Anyone Have Any Good “at Home” Workout Tips To Tone Stomach, Thighs And Butt? I’m not overweight or anything, I would just like to have a body that is more toned and healthy looking. I just need some workout tips that i can do at home in order to get rid of the fat; and tone my belly, thighs and ass. I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH DIETING, JUST EXERCISE. Thank-you 🙂

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      I know this sounds vague, but just use youtube. it’s awesome because you don’t have to buy an expensive dvd or anything and because you can specify exactly what you want to tone. You can search like “inner thigh workout” then choose from a bunch. Same with butt and stomach. There are some great variations. But, don’t expect perfect results from just working out. How you look is mainly due to your diet. Exercise just aids in that and tones you.

      Good luck

      View Comment
  3. Reply

    How Do I Get A Body Like This? Any Workout Tips? I wanna get a body like hayden panattieres from the kohls candies ad. Or a body like Miley Cyrus for that matter. I carry lotsa weight around my middle waist, upper arms, thighs and calves, back, and neck. pretty much everywhere! any workout tips for a teen who totally wants a flat stomach and cute body?

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • September 2, 2013
      Reply

      Try counting calories. 2400 is the maximum a person should usually intake per day (and I say usually because there are special occasions like birthdays and weddings where it’s kind of hard to stay under 2400 calories), and eventually (I say eventually because your diet probably gives you 4000-5000 calories right now, that’s what mine was) if you want to lose weight faster stay between 2000-2200 calories. Of course, if you’re diet includes fast food and Starbucks, 2400 is fine. Go to http://www.calorieking.com and look up calorie content of foods you eat, or you can buy their book, which might be handier. Combined with exercise, this is a great way to lose weight and isn’t risky like diet pills or miracle diets.

      View Comment

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