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TOPIC: less than 20 minutes exercise - not worth it??

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January 6, 2010 9:57 AM
So a friend of mine made a statement to me a while ago that really bothered me and I have not had time to research how true this is...anyhow...I had a really lazy day where I should have went to the gym one day but wasn't feelin it but decided I would stay at home at do at least 20 minutes of some sort of cardio so I jumped rope. Anyhow, this friend (who lost over 200 lbs with gastric bypass plus a fitness trainer after surgery) said to me that 20 minutes of workout was a waste of time and that her trainer told her that you don't even start burning fat until after 20 minutes of workout.

I can sometimes be gullable so ever since that statement, when I am at the gym on the elliptical for 30 minutes, I feel like only 10 minutes of it really counted towards anything and I hate that feeling. I end up doing another 30 minutes of some other cardio but still that first 20 minutes of working out now bugs me.

Does anyone know or have researched if that statement is true. "you do not start burning fat until after 20 minutes of cardio"?
January 6, 2010 9:59 AM
That is an oversimplification. You get more cardio benefit after 20 minutes but under 20 minutes you are still burning fat and calories.
January 6, 2010 10:02 AM
any exercise is always worth it.

the best thing that i have heard was that any exercise is good exercise as long as you do not hurt yourself doing it.

most people say that you are not burning fat until after 20 minutes of exercise. but this also depends upon what kind of shape you are in. If you are not in shape, you can burn fat faster because your muscles are not used to this work out. and if you are in shape, it may take doing exercises that your muscles are not used to bing used to burn fat.

January 6, 2010 10:03 AM
You are burning calories, regardless of if you workout for 10, 20, 30, etc. I will agree that intensity, HR, Calories Burned seems to increase the longer you workout, but I would NEVER say any workout is worthless. There are times when I run up and down the stairs at work for 5 minutes, just to get a little "extra" calorie burn for the day...I don't care if it's only going to burn 25 calories, or whatever, it's still 25 calories!
January 6, 2010 10:03 AM
Whether it's true or not, I would think that any amount of exercise isn't a waste of time... that's discouraging :/
January 6, 2010 10:08 AM
Keep exercising! One minute at a time! :)
January 6, 2010 10:08 AM
I think every minute counts, that's less time sitting on the couch and eating smile
sooner or later it will add up to more time doing exercises. Stay Strong and keep it up
January 6, 2010 10:11 AM
Do a Youtube search on tabata conditioning and HIIT. You honestly don't want to exceed 20 minutes if you train this way. It's an effective way to train, as long as you're in the condition to do it.
January 6, 2010 10:11 AM
well this may be oversimplification but - if your bmr is say 2000 calories a day then any deficit is positive correct? so if you work out for 10 minutes, 5 days a week and only burn 50 calories doing it...then that's 250 calories that you've burned in the week. Now you may not burn any fat that way but to say it's not worth it is just wrong.
January 6, 2010 10:12 AM
I totally agree that any amount of exercise is totally worth it, whether I am walking for 10 minutes on my work break or working out for 2 hours at the gym. I understand that you burn calories with any amount of exercise...I was more interested in the "burning fat" statement.

Isn't calorie burn different from fat burn?
January 6, 2010 10:20 AM
I just read something about this topic this morning but cannot find it! Reason I was looking was because I've just started working out and don't have all that much endurance..which is sad but true. So anyway, I figured maybe I would break up my workout into 3-15 min sections a day instead of doing one session of 45 min.

Anyway, the article (Which if I can find it, will post the link) stated that some researchers believe that breaking up your workout into 2 or 3 smaller sections can be more beneficial because we all know that when you exercise it boosts your metabolism. So, their argument is that If you do 15 min in the AM you boost your metabolism, then another 15 min in the afternoon, your metabolism gets another boost and again 15 min in the evening, yet another boost!

I've also read several articles stating that for people who don't have time to do one session a day, it's perfectly fine to break it up into several times a day if need be. Just as long as you get it in, it doesn't matter how!

Good luck to you and keep up the awesome work!
January 6, 2010 10:21 AM

Girl please.............., don't believe that. It not only burns calories but it's also conditioning the heart.

lol! Ur funny. I know, I know. I am naive but not that naive...I know I am burning calories but I need to get to that FAT! lol
January 6, 2010 10:22 AM
Funny, I was told the same thing one day! But you know what, if 20 minutes is all you can do physically or time wise, then that's better than nothing!!!

Keep smiling! You're fine! happy
January 6, 2010 10:26 AM
IMO, Calorie burn vs. fat burn talk is more scam than real. Most everybody I've heard who talks about it has something to sell you.

I think Tom Venuto sums up the truth about weight loss best:

"If you have a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. If you have a surplus, you will gain weight. period."

Whether or not you burn calories from your bloods glucose, or your liver's stored glycogen, or your bodies fat reserves, whichever one is used......
You STILL lose weight.
If you're eating right and exercising (any amount is better than none) you will keep the lean body mass, and lose the fat mass. The better you eat, better you train, the better your results.

Stay strong and keep at it!
January 6, 2010 10:31 AM
I too heard this at a fitness conference, not that it was not worthwhile but that you do not really start using fat for energy until after at least 20 minutes of cardio! I have always worked with this in mind! Do not let others think that 20 minutes is NOT good because it is! More is better but 20 is good!! Keep workin it!!!
January 6, 2010 10:57 AM
Just a quick note, all the bigginner cardio workouts on the Biggest loser game are around the 20 min mark.
January 6, 2010 6:17 PM
I'm not an expert by any means, but it would seem, to me at least, that if you are burning calories, you are probably burning fat. I'm not big on cardio in the form of treadmills and eliptical machines, but I've seen people burn upwards of 400 calories in 20-25 minutes. I'm pretty sure they are burning some fat. Calories are nothing more than a unit to measure energy, I beleive. Excess calories are what build fat. So like one person said earlier, if you build a caloric defecit and burn calories, you are bound to burn off some fat. Stay encouraged and good luck to you.

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