Study Finds Less Exercise Increases Metabolic Syndrome

A study in the journal Preventive Medicine found women don’t get as much exercise as men, which increases their risk for metabolic syndrome.

You’ve probably heard about metabolic syndrome, which includes conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity. These disorders act like road signs that warn, “Danger ahead!” and give you a chance to turn back before you fall fate to diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.

I always love studies where researchers start with one idea but evidence guides them in a different direction.

In this case, researchers began looking at the correlation between physical activity, depression, and metabolic syndrome. They looked at over 1,000 people selected from a nationally represented sample.

But their research gradually evolved into a gender study as researchers stumbled upon an interesting observation:  whereas men clocked in about 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise every day, women averaged 18 minutes.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. If it’s any consolation, women performed better in other health measures here. For instance, they were less likely to smoke than men.

Also worth noting: this was the first study to objectively measure physical activity. More specifically, participants here used accelerometers that measured physical activity. In other words, they weren’t just guessing how many minutes they exercised.

The study concluded that less than 30 minutes a day of daily exercise increases your risk for insulin resistance, depression, and weight gain.

Still, researchers remained optimistic. They recommended small physical efforts throughout your day to meet that quota. Take the stairs rather than the elevator, for instance, and park further away from the mall entrance.

I get it: exercise requires time. And with your ever-expanding work hours and to-do list, finding even an hour at the gym can seem impossible. Heck, finding a parking place alone can take 15 minutes.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend hours at spin classes to get exercise’s numerous benefits.

You can burn fat, build muscle, and boost your metabolism in just minutes a day. And burst training is your ticket.

If that sounds like a dubious infomercial, I’ve got studies to show just how effective it is.

They show, for instance, that compared to treadmills and hour-long aerobics classes, burst training helps you more efficiently and quickly burn fat.

Another study found moderately active women burned more fat burst training in just two weeks.

Several studies show burst training also proves effective to reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance and diabetes.

My favorite way to burst train is with the Xiser »

This well-built, portable machine provides a full-body workout in just four minutes, three times a week. No kidding.

While the Xiser makes it easier to burst train, you really don’t need any equipment, and you can even do it outdoors.

For instance, run at full pace up to one minute (you should be breathless), walk fast for a few minutes, and repeat.

You can also do this run-walk-repeat routine on your treadmill. Ironically, you’ll get more benefits doing this for five minutes than the person next to you huffing away for an hour while watching The View.

Or if you have a hill at your park, you can full-blast run up the hill, then walk steadily down, and repeat.

Want to make burst training even more effective? Combine it with weight resistance.

I know what you’re thinking: too much time.

Guess again. My friend, fitness expert JJ Virgin, has a fabulous 15-minute workout, appropriately called the 4 x 4 Workout (four repetitions of four exercises) which effectively combines burst training and weight resistance in, yes, just 15 minutes a day »

You might doubt right now you can get amazing results in that short a time period. But I promise you: it will kick your butt.