Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wanna Lose Weight? - Got 20 Minutes?

Hmmm, that sounds like the opening headline for another one of those weight loss scams getting hurled around the internet and plastered on TV.  But not in this case. (Like that is reassuring...) But for real, researchers have found that if you engage in certain patterns of exercise for 20 minutes per day, you can make a significant improvement in your health and lose weight.

In an article by Leslie Barker Garcia this concept is explored in great detail, with the key factor being "how" the 20 minutes is utilized.  For example, a leisurely walk for 20 minutes is much better than sitting, whereas a power-walk is better than a casual one.  (A power-walk has been proven to burn as much calories as a medium jog.) And of course if you add another element of effort such as steps or hills, you get that much more benefit for the 20 minutes of effort. 

The article is worth the read if you are seriously looking to lose weight the right way, which means a lifestyle change that you can live with forever, not a short term approach.  But don't get too bogged down in the details when it comes to stuff like interval training.  The most important thing to take with you is that "not having the time" is not a reasonable excuse.  You can accomplish a lot in a little if you are smart about it.  

Oh yeah, start with BABY STEPS!  Don't try to do too much too soon or you will give up.  Successful weight loss is a gradual thing, and if you can get to the point of losing 2 pounds a week, you are on the right path.  It doesn't sound like much until you put it into perspective.  If you had started your program a month ago, you could be down 8 pounds by now. 

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