Sunday, October 25, 2015

Maybe You Didn't Exercise Hard Enough?

Picture by Irving Henson from The Pit
I've got some friends who really love eating and some of them have been complaining to me that exercise just doesn't seem to work for them. Despite exercising regularly they seem to be packing on the pounds still.

Maybe you didn't exercise hard enough? That was the first thing that came to mind when they asked for my thoughts on that matter. Granted, I know not everyone responds the same way to a certain exercise program. Turns out I may be right when I recently came across the following article.

Researchers studied 121 sedentary and obese adults who exercised five times a week over a duration of 24 weeks.

The subjects were split into three groups. A low intensity, low duration group who did moderate walking (31.2 minutes of exercise at 50 percent VO2 max). The second group exercised at low intensity but longer duration (57.9 minutes of exercise at 50 percent VO2 max). The final group did a higher intensity, longer duration of brisk walking (39.7 minutes at 75 percent VO2 max).

After four weeks there were "non-responders" across all three groups. Non responders were those whose fitness levels did not improve.

The number of "non-responders" decreased as the weeks passed although they remained in the low intensity groups. There was however, no "non'-responders" in the high intensity group, meaning everyone in that group got fitter.

The researchers suggested that there will not be any "non-responders" as long as they exercised hard enough for long enough.

Hard enough in this study basically involved brisk walking, meaning you may need to do more if you're younger and fitter.


Ross R, de Lannoy L and Stotz PJ (2015). Separate Effects Of Intensity And Amount Of Exercise On Interindividual Cardiorespiratory Fitness Response. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. pii: S0025-6196(15)00640-0. DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.07.024.

Walk this way! (Picture by Irving Henson from The Pit

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