Feb 2018 - What Exercise Works?
Over the post Xmas and NY period –there is always a multitude of articles, blogs and adverts on exercise, getting fit and what everyone should be doing.
By the end of Feb, the gyms have calmed down again, the parks are a bit emptier and I thought it might be a good time to review some of the evidence as to what works and maybe more importantly what doesn’t!
The Good News:
- The oft-mentioned idea that you can boost your fitness with household chores is well supported. Walking to work, hoovering, shopping, cleaning, - do these activities for 150 minutes a week and according to one large study you’ll reduce your risk of early death by 28%
- Weekend Warriors - If you cram all your exercise into the weekend research has shown this to be more or less as beneficial as spreading it throughout the week.
- Time-Strapped - High-Intensity Exercise has been shown to work: 4 minutes of very high intensity exercise 4 times a week - 20 secs of full intensity exercise followed by 10 second rests. It’s not for everyone but some high-intensity exercise always a good idea in any keep-fit programme.
- Even a Single Episode of Exercise can Help: Recent research has shown that even a single episode of exercise, can give a clinically useful form of protective pre-conditioning to the cardiac system. 1 to 3 episodes of exercise per week will provide strong cardioprotection.
- Use of Stretching Before and After Exercise: More good news for the time strapped – not really supported by the evidence as reducing stiffness or preventing injury.
The Bad News:
- The idea that you can burn more fat in a longer, slower run than a shorter, more strenuous run is not true so you might just need to up the pace a bit.
References: New Scientist 10/01/18; JAMA Cardiology Feb 2018; The Week 20/01/18
For further information on any of these tips or if you would like us to review or advise on your exercise programme, please get in touch.