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The Villages
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Intensity more important than duration

How fast you move throughout the day is more important for preventing weight gain than how long you move. Every minute per day spent engaging in high-intensity movement is associated with a five percent decreased chance for obesity in women, and a two percent decrease in men.

Researchers measured duration and intensity of physical activity from accelerometers worn by 2,202 women and 2,309 men for seven day periods (American Journal of Health Promotion, September 3, 2013). They divided participants into four categories — those who were active in:
• higher intensity longer bouts of more than 10 minutes per day,
• higher intensity short bouts of less than 10 minutes per day,
• lower intensity long bouts of greater than 10 minutes per day, and
• lower intensity short bouts of less than 10 minutes per day.

People weighed less by being active at high intensity for more or less than 10 minutes, or low-intensity lasting longer than 10 minutes. Short bouts of low activity for less than 10 minutes per day is not associated with weight control. You can help prevent obesity by walking up stairs instead of using an elevator, parking at the far end of a parking lot, walking to the store, or doing anything else actively and intensely.

Losing weight reduces risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, bone fractures, some cancers and even makes you feel good.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villages resident. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com

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