Less really can be more when it comes to exercise, according to a new study analyzing how the intensity of your workout impacts your ability to control your weight. And the bottom line: It's exercise intensity, not duration, that counts for weight control, according to the study reported on September 1 in the Huffington Post.
The study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, emphasized the benefits of brisk physical activity for battling obesity. "What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration," study researcher Jessie X. Fan, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah, said in a statement.
"This new understanding is important because fewer than 5 percent of American adults today achieve the recommended level of physical activity in a week according to the current physical activity guidelines. Knowing that even short bouts of 'brisk' activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health."
To conduct the study, researchers evaluated the exercise done by 2,202 women and 2,309 men ages 18 to 64. Those who benefited the most from exercise were the ones who participated in higher intensity workouts. Just one additional minute a day of high intensity exercise reduced the odds of obesity by 5 percent for women and 2 percent for men. Need some guidance to get that boost? Try a fitness DVD that's designed to feature high intensity intervals, such as: