Forget that long workout chaps: Men who exercise for half an hour a day lose more weight than those who train for twice that time
19:45 GMT, 22 August 2012
00:34 GMT, 23 August 2012
Resolving to exercise and shift a few extra pounds can leave most of us feeling like we’re in for a long, hard slog before we get to enjoy any weight loss.
But a study suggests we should take heart, because reaping the benefits may require shorter bursts of effort than we think.
It found that healthy, moderately overweight men who exercised for half an hour a day lost more weight than those who worked out for twice as long.
Men who ran, cycled or rowed for 30 minutes a day lost 8lb on average, over three months
Those who ran, cycled or rowed for 30 minutes a day lost 8lb on average, over three months.
By contrast, the men who sweated it
out for an hour daily shed just 6lb – too little for the amount of work
put in, the American Journal of Physiology reports.
The University of Copenhagen researchers are not sure why the men who exercised longer did not lose more weight.
It may be that they ended up eating
more, or those assigned to the 30-minute sessions may have had more
energy to remain active for the rest of the day.
Researcher Mads Rosenkilde now wants to study the benefits of combining exercise with our daily commute.
He said: ‘An interesting scenario is to study exercise as a form of transport.
‘Training is fantastic for your physical and mental health. The problem is that it takes time.
‘If we can get people to exercise along the way to work for example, we will have won half the battle.’
The Department of Health recommends
adults do an hour and a quarter of weekly vigorous exercise – such as
running or playing football – or two and a half hours of more gentle
exercise, such as brisk walking.
Twice-weekly sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises are also advised.