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Study: Ten minutes of cleaning house, mowing lawn is 'as good as hours in the gym'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In a report that may see the rapid decline in health club memberships, a new study has found that moderate exercise for as little as 10 minutes a day can equal hours spent in the gym. Furthermore, activities like mowing the lawn or cleaning the home can help people lose weight, as well as lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers now say that even walking to the bus stop or cleaning your home has hidden health benefits.

A Boston University study has found that as long as the 10 minute bursts make up your daily quota of exercise, you will see the difference on your body. The report concludes that "some exercise is better than nothing" and that by adding up the small things you can have big impact.

In an experiment, researchers attached a motion detector to 2,109 men and woman with an average age of 47. More than half were overweight.

Called an accelerometer, the device allowed them to monitor all their activity, rather than asking them to fill out a questionnaire in which they might not have listed everything they did.

The results showed that compared to those who did not do enough exercise, everyone who did so weighed less, had lower BMI and lower cholesterol.

Exercising had a stronger impact on cardiovascular risk factors in women than men, due to physiological differences or unmeasured factors.

Most surprisingly, the benefits of short bursts of less than 10 minutes yielded the same benefits as those who worked out for longer.

"I think it's really important finding - because of the high levels of sedentary behavior it is crucial to get people to be more active," lead researcher Professor Nicole Glazer of Boston University School of Medicine, says. "Going to the gym is not the only thing you can do and things like taking the stairs and walking for the bus do add up."

Examples of activities which counted included everything from cleaning the garage to badminton and golf. More strenuous activities like hiking, jogging, shoveling counted as well.

The researchers said the findings may work as an encouragement to those who do not have enough time to work out or don't have the energy to do so after a long day.

Health officials agree that adults should get at least two hours and 30 minutes or moderate intensity exercise a week, such as fast walking, or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise such as swimming.

The two may be mixed together if a person so chooses, so long as they hit the target.

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