Question: What is the most effective type of exercise to promote excellent health?
Answer: The exercise that you will do!
That being said, it would be interesting to settle the question of how long and how intense should we exercise to achieve certain outcomes. I don’t have the answer to that and I imagine that it depends on the person and their health issues and goals. I also suspect that it is ideal to change it up regularly for most people.
Having said that, I found an interesting piece of research that showed better results for shorter duration higher intensity exercise in reducing HgA1C in recently diagnosed diabetics.
Moderate intensity exercise was defined as 60% of age predicted maximum heart rate (approximated as 220 minus your age).
High intensity (or also called burst exercise) was defined as 85% of age predicted maximum heart rate.
The participants either exercised for 30 minutes at 60% or 3 rounds of 10 minutes at 85%.
The researchers found significantly higher compliance in the burst exercise group – which speaks to the concept of ‘do the exercise that you will do’.
They also found better outcomes concerning blood sugar metabolism.
What this means for you:
There is no reason to assume that the bursts need to be 85% or need to be as long as 10 minutes. Play with what you like. During the rest periods between the bursts you can walk, stretch, clean your house, read emails. Make up your own rules.
If you haven’t tried this format for exercising – it may be the missing key for weight loss.
It also goes without saying that if you like and do this exercise regularly, all of your systems with improve – including your brain.
Ideally you should have a heart rate monitor so that you know that you are working out hard enough and not too hard.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not start a new exercise program without speaking to your doctor about any risks that you may have.
“All information contained on this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.”