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Even Small Amounts of Exercise Are Beneficial

The above mentioned headline hails from the May 17, 2007 issue of Medscape and is the consequence of a study published inside the May 16, 2007 publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This research indicated that smaller levels of exercise than previously believed might help heart health. The study demonstrated that as low as 75 minutes of exercise weekly can improve cardiorespiratory fitness amounts of sedentary overweight individuals. This amount of exercise is less than that currently recommended to create fat loss. This research was conducted with 464 postmenopausal ladies who were overweight or obese and had raised blood pressure. These women were split into four groups. Three of the groups represented 50% then 100% and then 150% of the recommended exercise levels currently believed required to slim down, and the remaining group was a sedentary group used as a control group for comparison.

The outcomes indicated that even a modest amount of exercise showed health benefits. The authors noted that there was little if any weight loss in the low exercise group, but there was a decrease in waist circumference that they noted was more significant. They stated, "Perhaps one of the most striking finding of our study is the fact that even activity at the 4-kcal/kg per week level (approximately 72 min/wk) was connected with a significant improvement in fitness in contrast to women in the non-exercise control group." They later added, "Data presented in our study reveal that even 72 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise each week accumulated over about three days carries a important effect on fitness in previously sedentary postmenopausal women. This information may be used to support future recommendations and may be encouraging to sedentary adults who find it hard to find the time for 150 minutes of activity every week, not to mention sixty minutes daily." In an accompanying editorial in the same issue of JAMA, I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, concluded, "Although current knowledge concerning the dose-response relation between physical exercise and health remains incomplete, the study by Church et al provides important information on the dose of physical exercise to enhance physical fitness, a strong predictor of chronic disease and premature mortality. This may be succinctly summarized for patients and clinicians as 'Even a little is good; more may be better!"

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