Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Can Cutting Corners Work?

Moderate Workout Routines Help Heart, but More Effort Melts Fat
Font Size
A
A
A

continued...

Were they reaping any benefits from a ratcheted-down, moderate workout routine?

"Sure they're getting benefits, but in general, more is better," says Joe Miller, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Emory University School of Medicine. He agreed to discuss the findings with WebMD.

In fact, 25 minutes a day is the minimum anyone should get for heart protection, Miller says. "Most data indicates that people do better if they get moderate, sustained exercise like moderate-intensity walking for 25 minutes, four to five times week."

He encourages people to make little changes in their daily routine -- walk between terminals at the airport, park the car at the far end of a parking lot, that kind of thing. Exercise accumulated during the day can equal a moderate workout routine, Miller says.

But if you're trying to lose weight, aim higher -- make moderate workout routines longer than 20 minutes a day, says Andrew Sherman, MD, a physiatrist at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

"Obviously, some exercise is better than no exercise," Sherman tells WebMD. "But if you're ever going to get significant fat-burning benefits from aerobic exercise, the magic number is more than 20 minutes per session."

In the first 20 minutes, your body burns carbohydrates; after that, you begin burning more fat than carbohydrates, Sherman explains. "By exercising for a too-little period of time, you may get some benefits from not being totally sedentary, but you're not necessarily going to gain any fat-burning potential."

"We all would like exercise in pill," Miller tells WebMD. "The American mentality is to get more for less. It's the American dream. But when it comes to preventing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, it just doesn't work that way." A moderate workout routine -- over the long haul -- can keep fat and disease at bay.

1 | 2

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
 
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
 
man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article