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Brisk Minutes of Exercise Help to Prevent Weight Gain

A few minutes extra of high intensity exercise can have a significant effect on prevention of weight gain….

According to a recent data analysis of 4500 adults aged 18-64 surveyed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination, every minute of moderate to vigorous physical activity correlated with a lower body mass index (~0.7) and risk of obesity. Current guidelines suggest getting at least 150 minutes of exercise per week consisting of short 10 minute bouts, but this study found that even shorter durations could help keep weight in check. In the prevention of weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than the duration.

Moderate to vigorous physical activity is defined as greater than 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer, equating to a brisk walk at 3 miles per hour.

Results from the study found that men accumulated 246 minutes per week of short bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity and women accumulated 144 minutes per week. Each minute spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with a decrease of approximately half a pound of weight. This means that when comparing two women of the same height, the woman who regularly adds a minute of brisk activity to her day will weigh nearly a half pound less. Each daily minute spent in moderate to vigorous activity was also associated with a 5% lower risk of obesity for women and 2% lower risk for men.

American Journal of Health September 2013