Schvitzing for 30 minutes is better than 60 for weight loss



Exercise is great for your physical and mental health. Many people use time as an excuse. Recent research published in the American Journal of Physiology, found that 30 minutes of daily exercise is just as effective  as 60 for weight loss.

The results of the study found that the men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost 3.6 kilo in three months, while those who exercised for a whole hour only lost 2.7 kg.

In prior blogs, I wrote about the short comings of the calories in/calories out theory for weight management. This study provides additional support for the metabolic effect vs the outdated energy approach for weight loss when using exercise.

The researchers found that:

“Participants exercising 30 minutes per day burned more calories than they should relative to the training program we set for them. In fact we can see that exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat. The men who exercised the most lost too little relative to the energy they burned by running, biking or rowing. 30 minutes of concentrated exercise gives equally good results on the scale.”

Possible Explanations for the Findings

  1. Half an hour of exercise is so doable that study participants had the desire and energy for more physical activity after their daily exercise session
  2. Those who exercised for 60 minutes per day probably ate more
  3. Training sessions were planned to produce a light sweat (shvitz), but participants were expected to increase the intensity, thereby inducing more of an EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption- fat burning) effect.

A Summary: From Sick Care to Health Care

N Engl J Med 2012; 367:889-891September 6, 2012

The United States pays more for medical care than any other country. Despite this fact, unsustainable costs, poor outcomes, frequent medical errors and poor patient satisfaction all point to a need for a change in the current model.

In this country, we face epidemics of obesity and chronic disease. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes now cause 70% of U.S. deaths and account for nearly 75% of health care expenditures.

Many of the modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases are not being addressed adequately.

A prevention model, focused on preventing the development of disease before symptoms or life-threatening events occur, is the best solution to the current crisis.

A disease prevention model focusses on identifying the risk factors of disease as well as  preventing  a disease from progressing.

A prevention model is ideally suited to addressing chronic conditions that take decades to develop and then manifest as life-threatening conditions, which are ultimately fatal.

The need for a prevention model was highlighted during the recent health care reform debate. Unfortunately, a prevention based model is overshadowed by a system that emphasizes acute care.

The most prevalent preventable causes of death are now obesity and smoking, which result in delayed but progressive disease.

A key feature of U.S. health care is its system that it reimburses for “sick visits” and is aimed at addressing acute conditions or acute exacerbations of chronic conditions.

Economic incentives encourage overuse of services and favor performing expensive procedures, such as surgery, versus preventative measures such as lifestyle counseling (e.g. diet, exercise and stress management).

The current model largely ignores subclinical disease, but instead focuses on symptomatic persons and where a disease can be defined and drug treatment implemented.

Economic incentives preclude successful prevention through health maintenance.

In addition, our reliance on new and advanced technology has perpetuated an expensive system in which costly new technology is widely adopted.

When combined with economic incentives for patenting devices and drugs, these technological factors reinforce “the system”.

Although many preventive strategies may be cost-effective, they are seen as having a limited potential because they cannot be patented or made profitable.

Societal expectations of a “magic bullet” and a focus on symptom relief also reflect and reinforce the current healthcare model.

Taking a patient-centered, whole-person approach focused on long-term functional status and prevention is the key.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease”.    Edison

About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin