Exercise: experts agree that we all need it, but seem to disagree on pretty much everything else.
Some fitness experts say HIIT is the answer, while others swear by low-intensity movement, like pilates or swimming. The divide seems to grow with every new fad diet and exercise regime, and it can be difficult to figure out a routine that’s best for you. However, a new study from Edith Cowan University has shed some light on how to get the most out of your workout by answering an age-old question in the fitness world:
Is it more important to be consistent, but with shorter workouts, or to be more sporadic, but with longer workouts?
The study followed two participant groups, both of which performed 30 bicep curls with a dumbbell per week.
Group A performed all 30 curls once a week in a single session, and group B spread out the work over the course of 5 days, completing 6 curls each session. At the end of the four week testing period, significant muscle strength improvement was reported in the 5×6 group, whereas little to no change was found in the 1×30 group. Researchers concluded that maintaining a consistent, medium-effort routine, will show more results than an inconsistent, maximum-effort one.
Consistency in this regard can have more than just strengthening benefits according to researchers, “Muscle strength is important to our health. This could help prevent a decrease in muscle mass and strength with aging. […] A decrease in muscle mass is a cause of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, dementia, plus musculoskeletal problems such as osteoporosis.”
Good news for those of us who often dread those hours-long gym sessions, it turns out just a few minutes a day can do the trick––and with hibernation weather on the horizon, we couldn’t be happier to hear it.
By Maijia Stevenson