If you’re trying to lose more weight, consider exercising for just 30 minutes a day, instead of trying to do a lot more.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s not. Here’s why: Research suggests that overweight men who worked out just 30 minutes a day lost a third more weight over three months than did their counterparts who exercised for 60 minutes or more daily.
How can that be?
It turns out that briefer bouts of exercise may be more motivating than long workouts, according to the University of Copenhagen scientists, who report their findings in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. ‘The ‘lightweight’ group of exercisers appear to get more energy and be more motivated in relation to pursuing a healthy lifestyle,” says Professor Bente Stallknecht from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
In the study of 60 overweight, but healthy men, participants who exercised 30 minutes daily lost eight pounds over 13 weeks, compared with six pounds lost by those who worked out an hour or more daily.
Here’s how one participant explained it:
“At first, I thought it [60 minutes of exercise] was really great and it gave me tons of energy, but by the end, I felt tired because I thought it was too much – too much exercise.”
Compare that to this comment from a participant, who exercised 30 minutes per day. “It’s kind of trite to say that you get more energy, but you do. You feel less fatigued and . . . it kind of feels like there’s more fuel in the tank.”
More fuel in the tank may also translate to exercising more consistently. That adds up to a healthy habit that could be easier to maintain–just the thing to help with shedding pounds and keeping them off for good.
So do you like to workout for 30 minutes or an hour? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love getting e-mails and respond to as many as time allows.
Originally published at Everydayhealth.com on Sept. 18, 2013.