A scientific study shows that 10 minute bursts of exercise give you the same health benefits as hours in the gym – so are you wasting time and money on lengthy workouts?
Millions of us could be spending hours of our precious time sticking to lengthy exercise routines when all we need to do is short bursts of activity each day.
A scientific study from Boston University published this month* found doing ten minute bursts of exercise each day was as beneficial as hours in the gym and what’s more, things such as gardening, fishing, shovelling and even taking the stairs instead of the lift may count towards the quota.
And the study is likely to be music to the ears of gym goers, with new research released today showing that close to two thirds of people admit they are wasting money on a gym membership and not getting much out of it.
One in six say that’s because they don’t seem to get any fitter, almost three quarters say they don’t go often enough and a third say they don’t work out long enough.
The survey by Kettler Fitness shows that gym-goers spend two hours exercising in the gym per week; however they admit they only really work out for 70% of that time.
Almost 60% said they don’t really do an extensive workout every time they go to the gym, while close to 30% say they don’t even break into a sweat.
More than a fifth say they spend more time in the hot tub and the sauna than they do in any other part of the gym, while more than half are too embarrassed or too self-conscious to try their hardest at the gym.
More than a third of women wear makeup to the gym and over 40% of them are worried about their make-up smearing while they’re in the gym.
When at the gym 30% of those surveyed say they chat with friends, more than one in ten read magazines while on the treadmill and one in nine chill out around the pool. When it comes to the gender divide, 13% of women watch music videos and around one in 12 of men go to the gym to watch football matches on the big screen.
Julia Buckley , a noted fitness journalist , spoke to Teekshana Smith, for PatientTalk, about the study!
SMITH Welcome to Patient Talk. A scientific study shows that a ten minutes burst of exercise gives you the save health benefits as hours in the gym. So are we wasting time and money on empty work outs? Joining me today is Julia Buckley, fitness journalist. Hello and welcome.
JULIA BUCKLEY Hi.
SMITH So tell us a bit more about the survey please.
JULIA BUCKLEY Ok, this survey by Kettler was about how people use gyms and what they are getting out of their gym membership. I see two thirds say they didn’t feel like they were getting value for money from the gym that they are member of. One in six didn’t feel like they were getting any fitter by going. 60% admit that they didn’t really do a very extensive workout while they were there and 30% said they didn’t even break a sweat.
SMITH Did you find any of the results differed by either gender or region?
JULIA BUCKLEY Well yes, things people said differed a little bit by gender. Regionally it was pretty similar to those figures I just gave you, pretty much across the board but women were a little bit more concerned about the comfort in the gym they are a little bit more self-conscience and 40% of women said they all were worried about the reason they didn’t break into a sweat so they were worried about their make-up smearing or messing their hair up.
SMITH In regards to the ten minute burst of exercise a scientific study was done by Boston University. What do you can be achieved in that ten minute burst?
JULIA BUCKLEY Yes, so this survey by Boston University, it backs up something that many of us in the fitness industry have been saying for a long time that you don’t really need big chunks of time to work out and in some ways you can actually get more out of a shorter work out. What we are talking about here is really pushing yourself for 10 minutes, really going for it and really doing some challenging exercises. Get your heart pumping and breathing hard verses spending hours plodding away and going at a comfortable pace which is not really going to challenge the body so you’re not going to get many benefits from it really.
SMITH Most of us would maybe feel safer in the gym so is the gym the best place to exercise or are you able to this at home?
JULIA BUCKLEY It can be for some people, some people do great in the gym, other people less so. As the survey by Kettler shows, two thirds of people felt like they weren’t really making the most of it and I think what these people need to realise is that you don’t need a gym membership, that’s not the only place to get fit, it’s very, very possible to get fit outside of the gym by working out outside or even at home and this is a good point for people who do feel self-conscious in the gym or lack confidence. You can work out at home people tend to just use one piece of equipment in the gym anyway or mainly, so say a cross trainer machine or treadmill or exercise bike. Why not, rather than spending money on a gym membership add up what that would cost over a year and they can quite often go up to £2,000 or more. Invest that in a piece of home equipment. For example Kettler has just launched their new Racer S bike which is a fantastic, real high end piece of gym quality equipment. It’s quite expensive it’s £1,499 but if you weight that up against a £2,000 a year gym membership. It comes with a three year warranty and loads of really cool aspects on it I think, that you don’t actually get in a lot of gym equipment. For example you can simulate racing the Tour de France and my favourite thing is you can put in a meal that you’ve recently eaten that you maybe regret so, say you’ve eaten a burger you can input that in to the bicycles’ computer and you get a screen showing you a big picture of a burger which you look at while you are working out and it shows you how many calories you’ve burnt verses how many were in the burger. So you get a progress bar showing how far you are away from burning off that burger, it’s quite motivating.
SMITH Talking of burgers, is diet something we should consider when talking about losing weight?
JULIA BUCKLEY Absolutely. It’s a really important component of losing weight and getting fitter. You need to support your exercise with a good healthy, nutritious diet. So it is possible to lose weight by exercise alone but in the long term you’re much better off combining the two and for health reasons as well of course.
SMITH Julia, would you give any tip tips of what you could do in ten minutes at home.
JULIA BUCKLEY Yes, well anything really that takes you to the point of maximum effort but so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal exercise. It could be housework, cleaning, DIY, gardening, you know all of those things, as long as you’re getting your heart pumping and your breathing going and you’re really pushing yourself is fine but for example, just put a pair of trainers on and go outside for a run and run between lampposts. Really, really fast and hard between say two lampposts and then walk between three while you get your breath back and as soon as you’re ready to go again, that’s it, push it and I really go for it in those ten minutes and you’ll know you’re getting fitter and you’re getting the benefits and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
SMITH With the ten minute exercise burst, does it differ with the sexes?
JULIA BUCKLEY No, no, equally beneficial for both.
SMITH Fantastic! Should people have a medical before starting any exercise regime?
JULIA BUCKLEY Yes, generally, I would advise anyone if you haven’t exercised for a long time or if you have any concerns at all on the medical side definitely see your doctor. Get advice for as medical professional and work under their advice.
SMITH Well thank you so much for joining us today on Patient Talk.
JULIA BUCKLEY Thank you.
SMITH Thank you for listening to Patient Talk.
To find out more about Ms Buckley please visit her web site at http://www.juliabuckley.co.uk/about-julia-buckley/