Time is Essential for Fitness
22 Feb '17

Time is Essential for Fitness

Every few years, a new TV product comes on the market that promises results that are physically impossible. I’m sure you can remember the belts that were hot a few years ago that promised to give you abs of steel if you simply wore the belt. For some reason, there are people who WANT to believe that the impossible is possible but you aren’t going to get abs of steel by wearing a belt. I don’t care what the belt promises to do.


What makes it worse is that they hire models who got their abs of steel the hard way and then sell their souls to imply that the gimmicky product is the reason the model looks they way they do. Just the other day, I saw an ad for a new total body exercise machine that makes another ridiculous claim.


Apparently, this company did a study that showed the main reason people don’t exercise is they don’t have the time. All the messaging of the product is you can get a great workout in less than 15 minutes. I’m sure you can get a strenuous workout in 15 minutes but you have to think to yourself, why do most people start an exercise program?


Usually, people have gone to the doctor and have been told that they need to get their heart healthier and that their lifestyle is too sedentary. This product checks off the boxes of getting a person moving again but what it doesn’t address is heart health. According to all the best scientists, if you want the minimum level of heart health that will prevent heart disease, you should workout within your target heart range for 30 minutes a day, five days a week for a total of 150 minutes per week of exercise in your target heart range.


How you calculate your target heart range is take the number 220 and subtract your age. Once you have this number and for a 40 year old person, this number would be 180. Then our hypothetical 40 year old would multiply the 180 number by 70 percent and then by 85 percent. For our 40 year old, the lower end of her range would be 126 beats per minute and the upper end of the range would be 153 beats per minute.


Our 40 year old would need to exercise 150 minutes per week with her heart beating between 126 beats per minute and 153 beats per minute. You cannot get this type of activity by exercising 15 minutes a day, 3 days a week. It takes you a bit of time just to get your heart rate up to the prescribed range so if you only have 45 minutes of total workout time, you won’t even be close to what doctors tell us is the minimum level of activity.


Just like the abs of steel, this new product is promising the impossible. Is it good to get some activity? The research is still mixed on this question but I would say it is always good to start moving but for optimal heart health, don’t fool yourself. You will need to dedicate a minimum of 150 minutes a week to keep a healthy heart.

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