Does it matter how frequently you exercise and eat each day?

The Harvard HealthBeat Newsletter reported on several studies examining the frequency of eating and exercising this week.

Looking at a number of studies involving significant numbers of people confirming the old belief that it was healthier to be a "grazer" eating several smaller meals each day.

When the scientists tallied the results, they found that the people who ate more frequently took in more calories. Surprisingly, though, they also had lower cholesterol levels. The difference was relatively slight, about 5%, but it was consistent and significant, even after exercise, body weight, smoking, and other factors were taken into account. In all, the researchers found that people who eat six or more times a day have cholesterol levels that should reduce their cardiac risk by 10%-20% compared with people who eat once or twice a day. And male (but not female) 'grazers' were also leaner than 'gorgers,' even though they took in more calories.
A number of studies looked at exercise in a similar way - albeit with older populations - and found that it did not matter whether one exercises for thirty minutes once, two times for 15 minutes in a day or even three bouts of 10 minutes in a day.

What does this mean to you? Well, it is nice that recent studies confirm what we have felt for a long time abotu eating frequency. As to the exercise frequency, I'll assume most readers of this blog tend more to several LONG sessions in a day - I haven't seen too many people go out for three ten minute rows in a day! If there is one bit of information though - perhaps it is OK to limit the time on the water on multi-workout days, and it certainly helps technique many feel - but those points are far different ones than addressed by these studies.

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