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Exercising in Spurts May be Better Than Continuous Exercise

Regular exercise is crucial if you're looking to maintain health and fitness levels and prevent conditions such as heart disease from occurring. Typically, practitioners recommend that people exercise continuously and vigorously for 20 to 60 minutes per day.

Unfortunately, you probably realized a long time ago that it's difficult to schedule a set block of time to complete a full workout. Well, here's some good news: New research suggests that you can achieve the same benefits by exercising in short 10-minute bursts of activity as if you had exercised for one continuous workout.

In the study, 18 inactive young men and women were asked to perform three types of protocols on different days: eating a high-fat meal, without exercising; eating a high-fat meal following a 30-minute session of continuous exercise; and eating a high-fat meal following a session of intermittent exercise (three 10-minute exercise sessions separated by 20-minute rest periods). Triglyceride levels (the chemical form in which most fats exist in the body) were measured just before eating the high-fat meal and at two-hour intervals afterward. Results indicated that peak triglyceride levels were reduced by 27 percent in the people who engaged in intermittent exercise; those who participated in continuous exercise reduced their triglyceride levels by only 15 percent.

Whether you choose to exercise continuously or intermittently, the overriding message is -exercise! Along with eating a sensible, well-balanced diet, it's one of the best things you can do to get healthy and remove fats from your bloodstream. Talk with your doctor of chiropractic about designing an exercise program that fits your work schedule and lifestyle.


Altena TS, Michaelson J, Ball SD, et al. Single sessions of intermittent and continuous exercise and postprandial lipemia. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise August 2004;36(8):1364-1371.

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