Here’s an exercise/weight-loss study anyone who is time-crunched (or motivation-depleted) can get behind!
When researchers at the University of Copenhagen asked some of their study subjects to work out moderately for 30 minutes a day and others to work out hard for 60 minutes, guess who lost more weight?
Hooray for moderation! Turns out, the ones who did just a half-hour of exercise lost more weight than those who put in double the time and effort—and given the smaller number of calories that they were burning during exercise, this was a hefty 83 percent “bonus” beyond what would researchers at the University of Copenhagen would have expected.
So what’s behind the discrepancy? It’s not entirely clear. While it seems that the people who were sweating it out the most DID eat a bit more afterwards (despite being instructed to keep their diets unaltered), the additional food doesn’t totally account for the difference. They simply didn’t eat that much more. (They kept food diaries so researchers could check.) The people who did the 30-minute sessions also reported feeling energized and inspired, and made choices throughout the day (i.e. taking the stairs, etc) to stay active, while the people who’d done the hardest workouts were more drained.
Bottom line: No need to spend a full hour at the gym if you don’t have it! Work out smarter, not harder or longer.