Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have shown that 30 minutes of daily training provide an equally effective loss of weight and body mass as 60 minutes. Their results have just been published in the American Journal of Physiology.
For 13 weeks, researchers followed 60 heavy - but healthy - Danish men in their efforts to get into better shape. Half of the men were set to exercise for an hour a day, wearing a heart-rate monitor and calorie counter, while the second group only had to workout for 30 minutes.
Research results showed that 30 minutes of exercise hard enough to produce a sweat is enough to turn promote weight loss. On average, the men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost 3.6 kilograms (8 pounds) in three months, while those who exercised for a whole hour only lost 2.7 kg (6 lbs.).
30 minutes of exercise training provide an extra bonus. Participants exercising 30 minutes per day burned more calories than was expected relative to the training program that was set for them. In fact, the researchers found that exercising for an hour instead of 30 minutes did not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat. The men who exercised the most lost too little relative to the energy they burned by running, biking or rowing. 30 minutes of concentrated exercise give equally good results on the scale.
Some of the explanation for the results is that 30 minutes of exercise is so doable that participants in the study had the desire and energy for even more physical activity after their daily exercise session. In addition, the study group that spent 60 minutes on the treadmill probably ate more, and therefore lost slightly less weight than anticipated.
The participants in the study trained every day for three months. All training sessions were planned to produce a light sweat, but participants were expected to increase the intensity and three times a week.
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