Quality of exercise matters more than quantity, new study finds

Current assumptions about exercise hold that frequency of activity is a strong component of total body health.

Yet a new study from Skidmore College reveals that a multi-dimensional exercise routine, including a range of different activities, is more beneficial than simply doing one type of exercise often or, not surprisingly, being inactive.

Study author and exercise scientist Paul Arciero says that guidelines about exercise and diet put forth by health organizations can be confusing, which was the impetus behind his research.

"They're well intended, but they're complex and they're not being communicated in a way that's easy for the public to understand and incorporate in their daily lifestyle," Arciero said in a press release. "I wanted to test an exercise protocol with a nutritional component that's simple and understandable for people."

Variety is key

The study was a 16-week trial that had three different subject groups consuming the same amount of whey protein - 60 grams per day - but exercising differently. All of the subjects were considered out of shape and overweight at the beginning of the study.

At the end of the trial, those who had the greatest reduction in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and improvements in blood glucose control were the ones who had performed a combination of resistance training, interval exercise, stretching (like yoga or pilates) and endurance activities.

"It's not about simply doing more exercise," Arciero said. "It's about doing the appropriate range of exercises and activities that most effectively promote health and fitness."

Additionally, the group that didn't exercise at all - but still increased protein intake - showed decreases in abdominal fat.

PRISE

Coining the term "PRISE," Arciero said the acronym can help the public remember what exercises and diet components need to be a part of a person's weekly routine: protein, resistance, interval, stretching and endurance.

"After all, it's about 'keeping your 'eye on the PRISE' in order to achieve optimal health," he concluded.

Source: Skidmore College

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