Paul Arciero, Skidmore College – The Quality of Exercise

Dr. Paul Arciero

Dr. Paul Arciero

Sometimes the old cliche less is more actually fits.

Dr. Paul Arciero, a professor in Skidmore College’s health & exercises department, discusses how the type of exercise you do might make all the difference.

Professor Arciero‘s research interests include the influence of nutritional and physical activity intervention on energy metabolism, body composition, glucose tolerance and cardiovascular disease risk in healthy and diseased populations. Professor Arciero obtains both internal and external funding for his research and regularly collaborates and publishes with students on various research topics. At present, his primary focus is evaluating the effectiveness of different macronutrient intakes and exercise training interventions on body composition, energy metabolism, markers of cardiovascular risk and cognitive function adults of all ages. Currently, Professor Arciero is collaborating with other experts in the field on a two year study examining the effects of an interactive exergame on exercise behavior, neuropscyhological function and physiological outcomes in independent, community-dwelling adults. Professor Arciero looks to follow this study up with one examining the same outcomes in younger, middle school aged populations.

The Quality of Exercise

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Most exercise is good for you, but some kinds are better than others.

We tend to focus on the quantity of exercise we do, but it’s actually the quality of exercise that matters most. 

That’s what we found in a recent study.

We divided 59 overweight middle-aged men and women into three groups and gave each a different exercise regimen along with 3 servings of lean protein. One did very little exercise. Another did intensive resistance training four times per week. The third followed a multidimensional regimen that included resistance exercise, interval sprints, stretching, and endurance exercise I refer to as ‘PRISE’. 

On every measure, the PRISE group showed the greatest benefit — the greatest reductions in weight, abdominal fat, and waist circumference, and the greatest improvements in lean body mass, blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin. 

The PRISE system works because, along with the protein intake, each of the four exercise routines targets a different physiological health or performance outcome. These include enhanced cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, fat utilization, hormonal balance, blood sugar levels, and mood state.

These results support a rethinking of current assumptions about exercise, which place too much focus on the quantity of exercise people do rather than the quality of that exercise. You can’t just lift weights or do only the treadmill or elliptical machine and be healthy.

A good exercise routine will include the full range of fitness components that contribute most to overall health and physical performance. Remember, Keep your Eye on the PRISE.

Read More: Timed-daily ingestion of whey protein and exercise training reduces visceral adipose tissue mass and improves insulin resistance: the PRISE study

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