What is the minimum amount of exercise that we can do to get any benefit? Well, I read this article and the researchers are saying that 2 minute burst of exercise are enough to benefit your heart. They say:
‘Two-minute bursts of exercise are enough to benefit your heart, scientists have found.
They said that while longer spells of moderate exercise were good, there were ‘strong benefits’ in repeated short bouts of intense activity such as star jumps. ‘The key is to get your heart rate up,’ they said.
The scientists, from Newcastle University, prescribed a regime of brief bouts of exercise to a group of Type 2 diabetes patients. They saw early signs of heart damage being repaired within 12 weeks.
Study leader Professor Michael Trenell said: ‘There is no reason why the benefits should not apply to other people.’
Type 2 diabetes, often associated with obesity, leads to changes in the structure of the heart, increasing the chance of heart attack and strokes.
The researchers studied 12 patients doing short spells on a cycling machine, repeated five times, three times a week for 12 weeks.
Experts said that while longer spells of moderate exercise were good, there were ‘strong benefits’ in repeated short bouts of intense activity such as star jumps
At first, each bout lasted two minutes, but ten seconds were added every week until each spell lasted three minutes and 50 seconds.
Heart scans showed they had far more benefit than a group of 11 who did not do the exercises.
Professor Trenell said: ‘I am not saying short bursts of intense exercise are better than longer spells of moderate exercise – both are good.
‘But it can be daunting for some people to contemplate a long period of exercise, so we have shown that short bouts can be effective.’
So if you were to follow the Professor’s routine, you would only be working up to 4 minutes exercise, not much to ask yourself to do given the benefits found. Star jumps or step ups are enough to get your heart rate up so very achievable without the need for any gym equipment and the benefits are well worth the effort. Just remember, it is always advisable to check with your GP before undertaking any exercise programme if you have an existing medical condition.