May 2007 Archives

The shaky science of fitness

Seems that if you wait around long enough, what's old is new again.

You see it in fashion — flared jeans made a bit of a comeback a few years ago, for instance.

You see it in the news business. Dollar woes: a high dollar's going to kill our economy. Dollar woes: a low dollar's going to kill our economy.

Folks, it happens in the get-fit-quick exercise biz, too. Seems that shaking yourself into fitness is back in style.

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Less may be more

Looking to get fit? Well, the price of admission to that club may have just gone down.

The conventional wisdom, expressed by groups like the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Medical Association tell us that to be fit, we should get at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity every day. That's 210 minutes a week. Three-and-a-half hours. A marathon a week, at a five-minute-per-kilometre pace.

That's a fair bit of exercise — maybe enough to dissuade fitness fence sitters to stay in a sedentary state.

Now, a new study suggests that you might be able to reap significant benefits with substantially less time spent doing vigorous activity.

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There's no mystery in staying lean

Good news/bad news on the getting older and gaining weight front. The bad news is — it's inevitable. The older you get, the more likely you are to put on weight.

We're not just talking older as in sizing up rocking chairs for the front porch. Older as in progressing from those teen years — when you can spend the day with your face planted in the fridge and the night carousing with your buddies and still look like a rake — to your 20s, 30s and beyond when hips and waists turn into fat magnets.

The good news is there's a way to slow down the weight gain. Maybe even nip it in the bud. It's called exercise — and the more you do, the better your chances of being a spectator in the regional expansion of your generation.

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