There are no shortcuts—you actually have to exercise to get the benefits of exercise.

There are many people who would be thrilled to find a way to get the benefits of exercise without having to be active. Unfortunately, the only way to get the health and fitness benefits of exercise is to actually exercise. But there are some ways you can minimize the time you need to spend to get these benefits. You can learn more about this in my Health & Fitness column in the Aiken Standard this week.

In my column I wrote about the popular “10 minute” exercise routines that can promote strength and endurance gains that are greater than some longer-duration exercise programs. I have written about the advantages and disadvantages of these short, intense workouts previously.

I also included a bit on spot reduction, the claim that you can burn fat from a certain area of the body by exercising just that part. Abdominal exercises are often thought to burn fat from your midsection and a variety of exercise devices are based on this claim. Unfortunately, spot reduction doesn’t work. Here’s proof: If spot reduction did work, you would never see people with chubby cheeks chewing gum!

I also mentioned research into an exercise pill—a drug that would mimic the muscular adaptations to exercise. While there is great interest in this type of drug to treat certain muscle disorders as well as to eliminate the need for exercise, it doesn’t exist at this time. You can read more about this research here and here.

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