Healthy Tahoe: Quick workouts carry surprising benefits | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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Healthy Tahoe: Quick workouts carry surprising benefits

Don't have time to exercise? According to recent research, a four-minute workout might be better than 30 minutes on the treadmill. Sounds almost too good to be true, but according to fitness researchers, it's not.

Regular exercise improves your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, many adults do not make time for their weekly 150 minutes of moderate or intense activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

In a study published in the "Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism," researchers compared the fitness benefits of different workout strategies. Twenty-two women were assigned to one of three groups. Group A did 30 minutes of treadmill running at 85 percent of their maximum heart rate. In Group B, participants completed eight, 20-second rounds of a single exercise (burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or squat thrusts) with ten seconds of rest between rounds. The control group, Group C, did not do any exercise.

The groups completed their workout routines four times a week for a month. Before and after their training, the researchers measured the three groups' aerobic fitness levels and attitudes about exercise.

Following the training, both active groups saw an increase in their aerobic fitness levels by the same amount, seven to eight percent. However, only group B, the group with the short aerobic activity, saw an increase in muscle endurance, between 40 and 207 percent. In other words, Group B not only improved their physical endurance, but significantly improved their muscle endurance as well.

On top of that, Group B participants had a better attitude about the bodyweight workout. They expressed more interest in continuing the training program than their treadmill counterparts.

This study points out the value of quick workouts and total body movement. Total body movement should be the foundation for any fitness program, whether it is for losing weight, improving fitness, or gaining strength. This is why Tahoe Fit has added 30 minute fitness classes at lunch. These fun and effective workouts are great for people with busy schedules and taught by certified fitness professionals.

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