Exercising has always been an essential part of a lifetime of healthy living. If you embrace a healthy lifestyle, studies have shown an up to 80% reduced risk of developing degenerative medical conditions [1] and incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle plays a major part.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t exercise enough, and there is always an excuse. “I don’t have enough time,” or “I don’t like going to a gym” have been some of these. The problem is that excuses don’t give you results. So how can you “make” more time and not have to go to a “gym” to do the exercises.

At TrueMD, we recommend that patients do the PACE exercise program. PACE stand for Progressively Accelerating CardioPulmonary Exertion. Essentially you only have to do this 10-12 minutes a day, and you can do it anywhere, even in a gym. It is easy to do and you can pick exercises that you like to do.

The idea of PACE is to do short bursts of intense exercise activity intervals alternating with short rest recovery periods, and increasing the intensity of each of the bursts of activity over 12 minutes. If you do this regularly, you’ll reap many benefits from this type of program. These benefits include improved heart and lung health, loss of excess fat while improving muscle mass and tone, and improving circulation to your brain resulting in better brain function and cognition.

Let’s do an example. Say you like to exercise on a stationary bike. Once on the bike, do a short warm-up, then peddle as fast as you can and count to 30 (slowly) until you’re really huffing and puffing; then rest but keep peddling at a slow pace. Once you recover (say around 5-15 seconds or so), you do it again but this time you count to 35, then recover again. Each time you do the fast peddling you add 5 counts to the intense exercise burst and continue in this fashion until 12 minutes is up (i.e. progressively increasing the intensity of the exercise).

Anyone can find 12 minutes to spare in their daily life routine. Do it in the morning when you get up, at lunch time, or in the evening when you’re watching TV. Fit it into your daily routine until it becomes a routine. Amazingly, you’ll stop making excuses for not exercising, and your fitness level will increase.

Studies have proven heart and lung health improvements by using a PACE type program.[2], [3] In fact, many studies have actually shown that you can increase your lifespan if you do it.[4] This makes sense, since giving yourself better heart and lung health are vital parts of your metabolism. It’s so easy, why not do it?

In addition, studies have also shown that you will lose weight more efficiently with this type of program. In one Canadian study, researchers found that those who did short intense interval exercises compared with long duration 45 minute exercisers, the interval group lost 9 times more fat than the long duration group for every calorie burned.[5]

Thus, if you’re short with time, consider embracing a PACE program daily. You’ll lose fat weight, improve muscle mass, and become healthier through improved heart and lung health.

 

References:

[1] Katz, David, President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. From his lecture at “The 22nd Annual World Congress on Anti_Aging Medicine” Dec. 10-14, 2014.

[2] Lee IM, et al “Relative intensity of physical activity and risk of cardiovascular disease” Circulation 2003;107(8):1110-1116

[3] Williams P “Relationships of heart disease risk factors to exercise quantity and intensity. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(3):237-245.

[4] Schnohr P, et al. “Intensity versus duration of walking, impact on mortality: the Copenhagen City Heart Study” Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 2007; 14: 72-78.

 

[5] Tremblay A, et al “Impact of exercise Intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism: Metabolism, 1994;43(7):814-818