Here's good news for couch potatoes: Less can be more when it comes to exercise, according to a new study reported by RedOrbit on September 18. Researchers discovered that by doing a daily workout lasting 30 minutes, you can lose more weight than going for those exhausting one hour gym trips.
In addition to the boost in weight loss, the study participants who exercised 30 minutes daily felt more energetic and more motivated. The researchers at the University of Copenhagen who conducted the study highlighted the multiple benefits as a milestone in the battle against obesity.
“Obesity is a complex social problem requiring a multidisciplinary approach,” said Professor Bente Stallknecht from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
To conduct the new study, Professor Stallknecht and PhD student Anne Sofie Gram analyzed the health benefits of different types of exercise regimes, using 60 overweight men as their guinea pigs. Half of them exercised 30 minutes daily while the others suffered through a one hour strenuous workout daily.
At the end of the three-month study, the men who did the 30-minute workouts lost almost eight pounds, while those who put themselves through the one-hour routines lost about six pounds.
“The qualitative data offer a possible explanation for the surprising biological data,” commented Astrid Jespersen, an ethnologist and associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, in attempting to explain the seemingly contradictory weight loss results.
“The subjects in the test group that exercised the least talk about increased energy levels and a higher motivation for exercising and pursuing a healthy everyday life. They take the stairs, take the dog for an extra walk or cycle to work. In contrast, the men who exercised for one hour a day, after training, felt exhausted, demotivated and less open to making a healthy change. We are thus seeing that a moderate amount of exercise will significantly impact the subjects’ daily practices.”
The study is also good news for older individuals who may want to lose weight but would feel intimidated by the concept of strenuous hour-long workouts. A recent study, in fact, revealed just how critical mobility is for a long healthy life: Learn more about that study here.