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Are short bursts of activity just as effective as longer workouts?

Are short bursts of activity just as effective as longer workouts?
May 05
13:27 2016
The federal guidelines for exercise are:

• 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week
• Muscle-strengthening exercises at least 2 days per week

Less than 20% of American adults meet these guidelines. Their biggest excuse? Not enough time.

As it turns out, short bursts of intense exercise can be just as effective as a long gym session.

“The ratio is about 2:1, so if you have 15 or 20 minutes and you’re intense, the equivalent of that is about 40 minutes of exercise, so short bursts make a difference,” said Dr. Jordan Metzl this week on CBS This Morning.

But those workouts must be very intense – so intense that it’s hard to talk.

“The best way are things called plyometrics (jump training),” says Metzl, “and these are kind of rapid, muscle elongation and contraction cycles. Examples include running, squats, climbing stairs, push-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks.

Ideally, a person should incorporate long, moderate workout and short, intense workouts. “The longer exercise periods of time are great for kind of ramping up your metabolic furnace and burning calories. And then the short bursts make a big difference too, and they activate muscles in a different way.”

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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