Turns Out Going To The Movies Totally Counts As Cardio – Women's Health


When most of us think of cardio we think of clocking up kms on the treadmill, smashing out a set of burpees or F45 – not watching a movie. Yet new research has found that sitting through a feature-length flick can have the same impact on the body as a little light cardio.

For the study, researchers at the University College in London asked a group of 51 participants to view the two-hour-long live-action remake of Aladdin, while a second group was asked to read a book for the same period of time.

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Based on biometric sensors that were reading their heart rate and body temperature, the Aladdin viewers spent an average of 40 minutes in the “healthy heart rate” zone. And, though considered to be a “very light” level of stimulation, researchers say this “can help to build cardio fitness levels and burn fat.”

To be clear, we’re not suggesting you should skip every workout in favour of a Hoyts 2-4-1 deal. But there are benefits to taking regular rest days – and this might help ease some of the guilt that many of us associate with that. Not to mention, 55 per cent of the viewers said the movie had a therapeutic and positive effect on their mindset.


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“The cinema is one of the only places left where you can step away from devices and the outside world and truly switch off,” the study’s authors add. “The distinctive characteristics of the cinema—namely, the extended, immersive, social and focused characteristics can collectively impact our brain and creativity.”

A good enough reason as any, we say.

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