First came The First Twenty Minutes, by Gretchen Reynolds. In her 2012 book, Reynolds made the case that 90% of the health effects from a session of exercise are gained in the first 20 minutes that we get moving. It’s a worthwhile attempt to answer the question about just what extent and degree of exercise is optimal? More exercise is better? Not really, she says.
Reynolds’ research suggests that for recreationally-oriented individuals who do not have some over reaching goal such as completing a half-marathon or so, the best bang for your buck comes in that first twenty minutes, with only incremental improvement coming after that first 20 minutes. Good news, huh?
Now, 20 minutes may be overkill, but only if you are willing to go all out.
Check out—-> The 4-Minute Workout – from NYTimes.com.
This new study whittles that 20 minute figure way down – to just four minutes . The research examined the effects of a relatively large dose of high-intensity intervals on various measures of health and fitness.
There may be something to it. However, one’s actual engagement in brief exercise is not a logical undertaking. Otherwise, why are the majority of adult Americans now clinically overweight? How many of us vow to get moving , and use those pants that someday we believe we can fit into again?
I think that the body unconsciously recoils against pain- intense intervals hurt. And evolutionary biology has programmed pain avoidance into our consciousness. In order to engage in repeated bouts of night intensity exercise, one needs to trick ourselves into changing up for a sweat fest, no matter how brief. I’d like to see the long term research on one’s ability to maintain such a difficult, albeit brief road to fitness.