For some people, life seems just too hectic to meet the recommended
30 continuous minutes per day of aerobic exercise. The American
College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control
have changed the previous exercise guidelines
to meet the demands of an increasingly busy society. A more
practical approach: 30 minutes of total moderate physical
activity - continuous or intermittent - should be performed
most days of the week. The effectiveness of these new guidelines
was recently tested, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular
fitness and weight loss.
The study, which appeared in the Journal of the American
College of Nutrition, compared the effects of variations
of a 30-minute exercise program on aerobic fitness and weight
loss in college women. Forty-eight overweight women were divided
into four groups: no exercise; 30 minutes of continuous exercise
per day; two 15-minutes sessions of exercise per day; and
three 10-minute sessions per day. Measures of fitness, weight
loss, skinfold thickness, and body circumference were taken
initially and after three months of exercise training on a
All three exercise groups demonstrated significant fitness
improvement, weight loss, and decreased body measurements
at the end of the study. The results were similar between
all three exercise groups. The nonexercise group did not show
any significant changes.
Exercise may have similar effects on weight loss and aerobic
fitness, whether performed in one long bout or several cumulative
short sessions. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a long
block of time to get in an effective workout, now you have
an alternative to stay fit.
For more information on sports and fitness, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/sports.html.
Schmidt WD, Biwer CJ, Kalscheuer LK. Effects
of long versus short bout exercise on fitness and weight loss
in overweight females. Journal of the American College
of Nutrition 2001:20(5), pp. 494-501.