Wednesday, 9 May 2012

What's the goal?

Rolf Nielsen, happy as always (photo by Stian S Møller Photo : src sognsvannrundtmedsols.no).

I read an Aftenposten article with the title "45 minutes a week can be enough" regarding a study that show training as little as 45 minutes a week might be as efficient as training 30 minutes a day. The Norwegian government recommends that everyone do exercise 30 minutes a day, at a minimum. The article is just a brief abstract of the study, and might very well be misleading. So since I haven't read the entire study I'm just commenting on what I read in the news article. However that did make me slightly agitated.

First of all I have to say I'm quite sceptical to the facts. In the article is says that you'll get the same effect VO2 max wise if you exercise 45 minutes as if you exercise 30 minutes a day. That sounds like hoax. I am pretty sure that if you do 30 minutes of well planned and structured training every day you'll achieve a much better VO2 max than just working out 45 minutes a week. And if this study has compared a 45 minutes group of hard and structured training people to another group who trained without any guidance or plan the study sounds biased to me. Comparing apples to bananas can be done but how useful is the result?

The man behind the study, Bjarne Martens Nes, states that many reckons that training 30 minutes a day is too much, and that according to their research you can train a lot less (and achieve a better result). I wonder what the goal of this research is. Is the goal to recommend people moving even less than they do today? Where are we, as a nation, when a lot of people thinks that training 30 minutes a day is too much? Will moving less than today lead to a healthier society and less obesity? And can you really compare training very hard for 45 minutes, so hard that you are unable to talk and almost collapse after the session, to a slow jog or fast walk around a lake with a good friend? The latter might be heaps from inviting to most people.

I do not believe we should focus on how to exercise less in today's society. I think we should all try to work out for at least 30 minutes a day. And that workout doesn't have to be painful. It should be fun, and social. Because training can be heaps of fun. I wish everyone that thinks 30 minutes of training a day is too much would experienced this. Furthermore, it's not about not having time for exercising, it's all about prioritising.

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