If spending hours in the gym and not with your family isn’t your thing, be reassured that recent studies show that shorter bouts of higher intensity exercise is more effective than working out at a moderate pace for longer periods of time.
Less really can be more
One study* involving 10,000+ adults showed that people who walked slowly, even for up to an hour, saw no preventative benefits; however those who walked briskly cut their risk of metabolic syndrome (hypertension, extra weight, high blood pressure) by nearly half.
The same theory applied for weight loss; people who exercised at a moderate level for 30 minutes a day lost more weight than those who laboured through hour-long sessions – just because the intensity of their workouts were revved up!
Finding the happy medium for you
This doesn’t mean you have to start power walking everywhere though! A recent study in circulation discovered that just 2.5 hours of light exercise a week can reduce major factors that contribute to developing heart disease. However, high intensity exercise is recommended for the purpose of warding off obesity and high blood pressure.
So be your own judge. Whilst it was found that light physical activity doesn’t decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome it can reduce the chances of heart disease, whereas higher intensity exercise does have a more pronounced effect such as increasing your heart rate, dilating your blood vessels and breathing more heavily than normal.
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*Source: BMJ Open