« Freakonomics Radio

150. What’s the “Best” Exercise?

2014-01-02 | 🔗
Most people blame lack of time for being out of shape. So maybe the solution is to exercise more efficiently.
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hey Frida Non Annex is a college education still worth how much to bear its really matter should tipping be bad. How many parking spaces drug dealer even pay, Frida nonsense. I have a question for you from w and my see this is broken. Onyx radio, the pod pass that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host, Stephen Doctor, I guess listeners. We love it when you send us your questions like pay for economics. What's the best way to do this or that or a free ex. What's the story with such and such Some of you are so smart and I'm sure you're real hey freak economics. This is as men are hey Jasmine. What would you like to know today? want to know what is the best most efficient form of exercise? I wanted
yet the most benefit for the least amount of time invested I dont have. How much money either. Also I kind of lazy. Thanks for economics, Are you jasmine? Let's see if we can answer your question, the best most efficient form of exercise, Let's start by examining the premise: maybe you don't even need to exercise. His exercise really is worthwhile, as we think so. We put this question to David Melter he's our kind of guy he's a doctor and an economist at the University of Chicago. I think, there's a lot of good evidence, both observational as well experimental that exercise really helps the numbers I often site. Are that even something as simple as walking for half an hour a day five days a week raises your life expectancy by a year and a half and exercising more intensively than that on a daily basis.
Produce gains that are double that no offense freak economics that I could have told you. That exercise is good for me. Are you I just wanna, make sure you're not wasting what little time you have so as it turns out jasmine your situations, pre typical hears Gretchen Reynolds. She writes the visit com for the New York Times. The most common reason that people give for not exercising is that they don't have time. Here's what that means most Americans are not exercising that best. Statistics suggest that at least eighty percent and of Americans are not meeting the most common. Used guidelines for exercise which are those from the American College and sports medicine, and they suggest thirty in its of moderate exercise most days of the week, the vast majority of Americans are not doing that.
Oh now, I don't feel quite so bad, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to exercise. So we took your question: what is the most efficient form of exercise and we asked some people that we thought could answer here's one on the right way to think about. This is it's the wrong question and you know if I've learned anything in my life. Whenever I ask the wrong question: it almost guarantees. I will not find the right answer you
when a mean who's, this guy, this name is Peter. A tier he's, an m d and nutrition expert and fitness fanatic himself. Emphasis on the fanatic part of his exercise. Routine is flipping a tractor tyre. It's pretty heavy tyre, it's about four hundred and fifty pounds you never actually lifting the entire thing at once goes your flipping it. I have a goal that I'm working really hard, mostly for fun to get too, which is to break sixteen seconds on six flips of that time and here's why doktor a teeth this question: what is the most efficient form of exercise is the wrong question. If someone says to me, because I get asked this question all the time- it's the least I can do for the most, I really ask the person. What is it you want? What's your desired outcome and it can be any
from it. I want to run my first marathon in six months or I want to competing triathlon, and it will be my very first one or I want to take my guy to the highest level, because I've already been doing this for a while, but I want to get a little bit better. I can also be something like I looked at her in a bathing suit, or I want to not get tired when I play with my kids. Those Raul actually really an elaborate physical activities ok, so Jasmine. What is your exercise? Gold? You wanna competing to transform one just look better debating. Oh, I already look very good in a bathing suit. This is more for my heart for my Jackie well if you think longevity there's one exercise that Gretchen Reynolds really likes: squat the squire
I use almost all of the biggest muscles in your body, those in your upper legs, you're back your core, those are all So the muscles that you need to do things like get up out of a chair may sound facetious. But in fact, as you age, one of the best indicator whether you will be independent well into your twilight years, is if you can get up out of a chair and if you can go up and down stairs That sounds pretty good, but how am I
to know what access dies, as do the most good. Ok. So let's talk about how exercise is actually measured. Here's David Melter again, so the technical answer is exercise is probably best measured in terms of the total number of calories that you burn and therefore the efficiency of exercise in terms of calories, burned per unit of time is commonly measured in something called the metabolic equivalent score or mats, and they rank all the exercises that you could imagine doing from the most intensive to the least intensive and the scale starts at one and one is basically rest and in the sort of standard scales I've seen the things that are right up at the top or basically running soccer, which presumably means in a running all the time. I guess unless you're the gully and then it works its way down. So things like running or a ten jogging is seven
Golf is a four and a half than arrest is a one, but it is interesting, as there are also some activities on the list. That are things that you might have to do anyway, like the artwork and that's a sex to I don't really like yard work. Is there anything else like that on his list. That is a five or six on a massive scale. Well square dancing's, pretty good, and I quote from a list put out by the Centre for Disease Control, playing guitar or drums in Iraq banned or fishing while walking along the river bank and you that some good I am not into fishing sorry, I am not into fishing Alright, let's see what else clogging is good, jumping Jack's digging. Ditches. Yeah. Let me think those over fair enough. When we come back, I will tell you about a really fast way to get in your daily exercise.
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to your bank, account on you reschedule see all the ways Square can health at square dot com slash, go slash. Freak though nonsense. From W N Y see. This is for economics, radio. Here's! Your host, Stephen Governor Hey Jasmine, you still there. I am still here and you're still looking for the most efficient form of exercise. I am ok, so you could try an exercise. Commitment device like joining a gym problem is research shows that people who, by an annual Jim membership, overestimate how much I use it. By about seventy per cent. What a waste of money agreed now there's another kind of commitment device, an app called Jim Pact where you sign up for a certain amount of exercise, and if you don't follow through,
you have to pay them. I dont like that. One day it are jasmine. I hear you, so you want the best most efficient, most cost effective exercise. You can find based on what our three wise guests have figured out over time. Let me offer you a little checklist will call it the three eyes. Thank the first I intensity. Here's Gretchen Reynolds again, and that means simply that you go very very hard for a brief period of time and crucially, that you then have a short break and you go very very hard again there are a number of studies that have looked at different forms of high intensity interval training and have found that, for instance, You can do one minute of say, hard, bicycling and one minute of much easier, bicycling and a few do ten of those. Intervals you get essentially the same physiological change.
Within your body is, if you do about ninety minutes or two hours even of more common endurance training where you just go ride em. It seems very clear that These intent. Spouts of exercise can improve your fitness and also improve your health just as much as much longer bouts, but they have to be hard they have to hurt jasmine. Are you ready for the pain, maybe maybe not
what is this like, and, I am sure, tat caused and three eyes: individualization. Here's Peter a t again he's the tractor tire flipping, doktor, nutritionist kind of means using yourself as a guinea pig. You know, there's a lot of questions that I think we wish science would answer, but sometimes the rather not deemed a high enough priority in the scientific community or the scientific sperm is that are carried out are done on such a headache, Venus population that you can't necessarily extrapolate for yourself, and so, when the other things I do when I work with people, is re really sort of embrace this concept of self experimentation, because at the end of the day, if I was working with you, it's really not that important. What works for the population? It's really more important. What works for you personally. Ok, he doesn't sound, so mean any more agreed, and that leads us to the last. I on the exercise checklist if the first two are intensity, individualization
the third one is I like to do it Peter. A t Gretchen Reynolds David melted, they all agree that the best exercise is whichever one you'll actually do. Whatever you will do, is certainly the best exercise. What he actually like doing do something that you actually enjoy do something that makes you better. So what do you say jasmine? Is that give you any ideas? I do you have something in mind, but I would rather not say, ok, no problem, but if, whatever you are thinking about doing, doesn't work out, we ve got one more option for you, David Melter told us about the rom workout machine from a company quick. Jim test exercise. Machine is the one you ll actually use and the one that gives you a total body worker in only four minutes is the one you use every day, there's to you
to me like the kind of person who could really warm up to this machine jasmine, but let me warn you: it costs more than fourteen thousand dollars ouch. Is it worth it? Well depends we ask here's how David Meltzer cease in our member when he's not busy being a doctor he's being an economist yeah? Well, I guess the economic logic of it is that it doesn't require very much time at odds, get a full days work out. So, presumably, if you know it took an hour, they get a comparable work out of an it. Only takes four minutes. It saved your fifty six minutes. So presumably you know that's worth your hourly wage it out five times a week over it
here. You can price that out in amortize it in our that's probably worth quite a lot of money may be leaving get any sponsor for the south with the wrong there's no time to get bored by the time you think of an excuse for minutes is up and you're getting on with your did this, FR economics, dad's pretty meet your thing you for your help. Thanks for the question jasmine- and I look forward to your next one- pay, packets listeners coming up on the next for economic radio, Steve Lever to answer your questions like what would happen if you put cameras in the classroom potato different idea like it, because there are so many ideas about what to do about public education, and this is not one that I've heard for and well what do you think Levitt talking about break here?
Man, it's been a long time. I think it's been. None have been not least probably close to twenty It's another instalment of frequently asked questions that next time and for economic radio Fr Economics radio is produced by W and my c and D Honneur productions. Our staff includes David Herman. Gregg results give credit card. For a lamb, Susie, Luxembourg and Chris Bannon, especial thanks to CAP stroll who software provided us with the voice of jasmine and thanks to our listener, Scott heck injure, whose question inspired this
So. If you want more for economics, radio, you can subscribe to our podcast on Itunes or go to free economics, dot, com, real fine lots of radio, applaud the books and more oh, we're done Zizi. Thank you. Thanks, Stephen, you are the bomb awe and you are the fuse you like absinthe jasmine. Let's get wasted, If you're ready to push the boundaries of tomorrow, but the innovation experts at every riddle, aeronautical university help, you explore the possibilities one
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Transcript generated on 2021-03-13.