Exercise Much?

Who doesn’t love a good heart-racing workout?  A relaxing yoga session?  A core-building Pilates class?

Well, according to a new study, we should only be exercising 4 times a week.  Let me explain…

Today’s New York Times features a blog post: Getting the Right Does of Exercise.  Why Four Workouts a Week May be Better than Six.  

What?

Key things to point out here – the study features women, exercise was not already a “normal” part of their routine, the women were age 60-74.

For the new study, published this month in Exercise & Science in Sports & Medicine, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham gathered 72 older, sedentary women and randomly assigned them to one of three exercise groups:

1.  1 day/week aerobic activity, 1 day/week strength training (2 days/week)

2.  2 days/week aerobic activity, 2 days/week strength training (4 days/week)

3.  3 days/week aerobic activity, 3 days/week strength training (6 days/week)

Aerobic activity was 40 minutes of aerobic exercise at 80% maximum heart rate and resistance training was 2 sets of 10 repetitions for 10 different exercises at 80% of one repetition maximum.

The results?  All of the women gained endurance and muscle strength and there was no fitness capacity difference between the groups.  The women who worked out 4 days/week were expending more energy overall–burning more calories throughout the day.  The women who worked out 6 days/week were expending less energy (about 200 calories) each day than when the study began.  These women did not report feeling run down, rather, they reported feeling pressed for time to fit in exercise each day.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

It’s interesting to read the science but I still go by the do what feels best approach.  I hope when I’m 74 I’m still working out at least 4 days/week!

Thoughts on 2/4/6 days?  What’s today’s workout?
What health/fitness news did you read today?

A quick blog note–I’ll be moving to self-hosted by next week.  I know sometimes the WordPress migration means followers don’t migrate.  So if you’re signed up to follow the blog via email and next week you’re not receiving emails, I hope you’ll check back and sign up again!