“Wash your hands before dinner”
The mantra of Moms all over the world. A two minute exercise designed to avoid unwelcome bacterial guests and bits of dirt, joining the dinner table.
Researchers from the University of Otago, believe it is time to add another routine to dinner time.
“A ten minute bout of exercise”
The researchers have discovered, ten minutes of exercise before a meal, controls sugar levels better, than a single 30 minute slog at the gym.
The exercise prescription
The research team put 9 rather tubby individuals, who were insulin resistant, on an exercise regimen. Actually it was not so much a regimen, as a single day of exercising. Each phase of the experiment took place over 3 days :
- Day 1 was the control day i.e. no “official” exercise happened.
- Day 2 was the day the participants performed the exercise prescription.
- Day 3 was another, no “official” exercise day
On all three days, the team controlled what the participants ate and kept tabs on their sugar levels.
Taking the exercise pill
Participants were required to perform several different “regimens” over the course of the experiment, which lasted several weeks. Everyone had an opportunity to do each of the “regimens”.
- The CONTINOUS regimen, looked like a standard exercise session and involved a 30 minute moderate intensity (60 % of maximal heart rate) work-out on a tread-mill.
- The EXERCISE SNACK regimen, involved six 1 minute bursts of intense activity on the treadmill – participants had to get their heart thumping like a race-horse i.e. they had to reach 90 % of their maximal heart rate. The participants rested for a minute after each big push.
The continuous exercise session, preceded the evening meal, the exercise snack sessions, happened 30 minutes before, breakfast, lunch and supper. So when all was said and done, the exercise programmes were “identical” in terms of time and energy, the difference was in the timing.
The benefits …
Exercise requires muscles to fuel up – so as expected, the exercise sessions improved sugar levels post-prandially i.e. after the meal.
The interesting finding…..
Exercise snacking did a better job at keeping the sugar levels in check overall, than the continuous exercising. And, the beneficial effect persisted beyond the exercising day.
Lower sugar levels, meaning fewer metabolic upsets and all this happens in less time……………
Exercise for busy people
It is often difficult to schedule BIG exercise sessions into a very busy day. And a BIG exercise session at the gym, although beneficial, can still leave you with lots of “sitting on your butt” time.
Squeezing in a 10 minute exercise snack, between things, is much more do-able.
And, potentially more beneficial.
Have an exercise snack
So grab a skipping rope and hop to it. Hop for a minute, take a short breather. Rinse and repeat.
Not co-ordinated enough to avoid getting tangled in the skipping rope. Try a few jumping jacks or burpees. You might even try running for the bus….
The type of exercise you’re looking for, is something that is “exhausting”, you want to do it until you’re “exhausted” i.e. you can’t anymore. See if you can do it once or twice again, until you are “exhausted” – then call it quits.
Exhaust yourself and WIN
We’re living on the run – so snacking is a cultural norm. Snacking is seldom GOOD FOR YOU, but exercise snacking is the exception, so go on, indulge yourself…………
|Don’t just sit there – hop up every so often and do something||Are your snacking habits hitting the snooze button on the brain alarm clock ?||Chomping those fries is causing postprandial liver woes|
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