Every minute of brisk exercise counts for fighting obesity

Less than 10 minutes of brisk exercise is enough to fight obesity, researchers say. Findings published in the American Journal of Health Promotion show taking the stairs, jumping rope or going for a brisk walk can have a "significant" impact on helping us maintain a healthy weight and promoting cardiovascular health.

According to the study authors, every minute of brisk exercise counts when it comes to maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). 

University of Utah investigator for the study, Jessie X. Fan, PhD said in a press release:

"When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, every little bit of exercise counts, as long as it’s of reasonable intensity..."

Fan explained that even one-minute of brisk activity can help keep weight in check, which is an important note for helping us maintain weight loss.

Current guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, but busy schedules often make it impossible to reach that goal. 

According to information from the study authors, less than 4 percent of Americans get enough exercise to prevent obesity. 

Researchers measured steps and intensity of exercise among 4, 511 Americans for seven days, using a device known as an accelerometer. 

Study participants got most of their exercise from short bursts of intense activity, the findings showed. 

Jennifer Gay, Ph.D., assistant professor of health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia explained 10-minutes of exercise was the minimum chosen because of the benefits to the heart and lungs experienced by the body. 

Gay says short bursts of activity can help us burn calories in addition to fighting disease. 

It's also easy to incorporate brisk walking or jumping rope - even without a rope by mimicking he movements - into your daily life. Park further away from the grocery store and walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get up at work and walk to the copy machine or simply stand up at your computer desk and walk in place to stay fit and trim.  

The take home message from the study is that short bursts of high intensity exercise can go a long way for helping us stay fit and for fighting obesity that raises our risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and a variety of cancers.