September 27, 2012

Lose More Weight With Moderate Exercise

Go to work. Complete chores. Do homework. There are so many tasks in a 24 hour day that it can be difficult to squeeze in exercise. However, a new study shows that a moderate amount of exercise may do just the trick. A recent study by researchers from the University of Copenhagen discovered that participants lost more weight in moderate amounts of exercise rater than exercising for a longer or shorter duration of time.

The new research comes at the right time as the obesity epidemic continues to rise in the United States. The study was completed with a randomized control trial of moderate overweight males who were healthy but overly sedentary. A redOrbit article notes that the volunteers were pooled from the Four In oNE (FINE) project, an intervention-study focused on the impact of physical training for metabolic health.

“We have really been on the same wavelength as our research subjects – and the FINE study covered all aspects of training, both physical and psychological,” commented researcher Mads Rosenkilde in a prepared statement.

The participants were split into two groups; 18 individuals were part of the control group, 21 were part of a group instructed to participate in a moderate amount of exercise, and 22 were required to complete a high amount of exercise. The study was conducted over a 13-week period with volunteers required to keep food diaries, but not to change anything in their daily diet.

According to the New York Times, the researchers tracked the participants’ aerobic fitness, body fat, general health, and metabolic rate. Those who were in the control group had no change in their physical activity and were asked to continue their daily sedentary activity. The second group were required to participate in activities such as cycling, jogging, and other exercises for approximately 30 minutes or until the volunteer had sweated about 300 calories. The third group was asked to maintain strenuous physical activity and to sweat about 600 calories. All the volunteers were given motion sensors to also measure how active they were before and after completing physical activity.

The results showed some weight loss for the men who had worked out for 60 minutes a day. The researcher noted that each participant lost about five pounds each. Besides exercise, the food journals showed that the people in this group were upping the amount they were eating. The sensors also showed that, apart from working out, the individuals were inactive and sitting around most of the time.

“I think they were fatigued,” Rosenkilde, also a doctoral candidate at the University of Copenhagen, told the New York Times.

For the volunteers who exercised for 30 minutes a day, they lost approximately seven pounds each. This group also appeared to reinvigorated and inspired by their exercise routines, with the motion sensors showing that the participants were more active outside of their exercise routines as compared to the men who were exercising 60 minutes a day.

“It looks like they were taking the stairs now, not the elevators, and just moving around more,” remarked Rosenkilde in the New York Times article. “It was little things, but they add up.”

Overall, the shorter exercise routines seemed to help the men burn calories but weren’t as tiring as the hour-long exercise routines.

Image Credit: Blinka / Shutterstock

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