Maintain Your Weight? Short, Sharp Bursts of Exercise

This is what I like to hear.  Supposedly only 10 minutes of brisk exercise can help you keep your weight stable. That's a day, not just once!

Here's the lowdown:

  • Short bursts of less than 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise were associated with lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and lower risk of obesity.
  •  Low intensity exercise, whether of short or long duration was not associated with a lower BMI or risk of overweight/obesity. 
“This research shows that when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, every little bit of exercise counts, as long as it’s of reasonable intensity, such as a brisk walk, climbing stairs or jumping rope,” quotes study author Jessie X. Fan, Ph.D., professor in the department of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah.

According to, "Little bursts of exercise can add up to have a significant impact on a person’s weight, said Fan. In fact, the study showed that every minute spent in short bouts (1-10 minutes length) of high-intensity activity was as beneficial to BMI as every minute in longer bouts (10 or more minutes) of higher-intensity exercise. The study found that lower-intensity bouts of activity, of either short or long duration, were not associated with a lower BMI or risk of overweight or obesity in men or women.

So all the jogging I do (usually between a 13- and 15-minute) mile is worthless?  Last summer I was running a 10-minute mile but every time I fell, which was often, I got hurt really bad!  It makes sense.

I took up Zumba last year also, where very heavy exercise alternates with lower-intensity exercise so it's kind of what they're saying.  

The current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that adults get 150 minutes weekly of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, accumulated during bouts lasting at least 10 minutes each, according to However, the researchers note, fewer than 4 percent of Americans age 20 to 59 reach this guideline.

I guess that's me.

So what kind of exercise is considered intense?  Running up stairs.  Swimming a mile. Jogging a 10-minute mile.   Anything that keeps your heart beating (and you barely able to breathe).  Do that for 10 minutes and your weight should stay where it is.

All I know is, I've been running more miles this summer -- and gaining weight!  I guess I'm just not running them fast enough.

Though, as the researchers say, "Maintaining a healthy weight, every brisk minute counts!”


  1. Don't stop Deb. Keep running for your life. I'm only about a minute and a half off my mile pace from when I first started running 20 years ago. My weight is now 7 pound below my college graduating weight. My cardiologist says I have a good physique because unlike most guys my age(almost 58), I don't have a pot belly. Eating sensibly combined with regular exercise is the trick --- I walk 14 miles and run 16 miles a week. The endorphins never kick in for me. So it's not easy, but overall I feel good and it pays to stick with it. Don't give up Deb. And I will keep enjoying your blog!


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