Ok, I've talked about two studies that show high intensity short bursts of exercise can be very good for you. (Click here for first study: six minutes of exercise can give the same health benefits as six hours, and click here for the second study: short bursts of exercise are far better for diabetics.)
Well, a new study about kids and exericise shows that:
"For most obese adolescents, even if they weigh more than 300 pounds, their hearts and lungs are still healthy enough to allow them to exercise vigorously," Yanovski said...
For obese children in this study, simply pedaling a bike at the lowest setting for 4 minutes brought them close to the "lactate threshold," a point where working muscles aren't receiving enough oxygen and exercise can quickly become unsustainable.
"For such children," Yanovski said, "very low intensities of exercise are needed so that movement can be sustained." (empahsis mine)
But according to these two other studies, why not have all obese kids do the six minutes of exerise a week to keep up the cardiovascular health and improve muscles because these overweight kids can probably do this type of exercise.
The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, involved 23 moderately fit men and women aged between 25 and 35. They were each made to cycle 18.6 miles, as a baseline, before being split up and put on different training regimes three times a week.
The first group cycled for two hours a day at a moderate pace, the second were put through their paces at a higher intensity for just 10 minutes a day in 60 second bursts, while the third cycled at an intense sprint in 30 second bursts, with four minutes of rest in between.
At the end of two weeks, each group was again asked to cycle 18.6 miles, with the surprising result that each group was found to have improved to the same level.
Tests also showed that the rate at which the volunteers' muscles were able to absorb oxygen also improved to the same degree. The study also revealed that the two-minute workouts produced muscle enzymes essential for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in the same way that the longer workouts did.
I would be really interested to see if the results for kids matched the results for adults.