Working Out For Only 30 Minutes Is Worth It
August 23, 2012

Breaking A Sweat: 30 Minute Workouts Helps With Weight Loss

Connie K. Ho for — Your Universe Online

It can be difficult at times to understand the right activities and the necessary amount of time needed to lose weight. To delve into this issue, scientists looked at the different amounts of time that could affect an individuals´ exercise regime. In particular, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that 30 minutes of daily exercise can be an effective weight loss strategy, and 50 minutes of daily training can be helpful with body mass.

The study, featured in the American Journal of Physiology, was conducted by a team from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Over a period of 13 weeks, 60 Danish men participated in the program to get into better shape. Half of the men were instructed to exercise for an hour a day with a heart-rate monitor and a calorie counter. The second group only had to sweat for 30 minutes.

“A moderate dose of exercise induced a markedly greater than expected negative energy balance, while a higher dose induced a small but quantifiable degree of compensation,” wrote the authors in the report.

In the project, the individuals trained seven days a week for three months. All the training sessions made the participants sweat, but also increased in intensity over time. The researchers also looked at exercise as a form of transport, allowing them to exercise from point A to point B.

The results showed that, on average, men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost 3.6 kilos over a six-month period. 30 minutes of concentrated exercise training also helped participants burn more calories than they anticipated in a specific training program. In comparison, men who exercised for an hour only lost 2.7 kg. The researchers suggested that working out for an hour may not necessarily bring about additional fat or weight loss.

The scientists also believe that one of the reasons why 30 minutes of exercise is effective is that the fact that this amount of physical activity seems doable for the participants. As well, the study group that focused on 60 minutes of exercises possibly ate more and, as such, lost less weight than expected. In terms of particular activities, the men who completed biking, running, or rowing lost the most weight.

Many of the participants in the study hoped to have a lifestyle change with the increase of exercise training. Health science researchers observed their energy balance, hormones, and insulin resistance. Ethnologists also helped in adjusting bad habits and identifying cultural barriers.

Researchers believe that the broad interdisciplinary approach for the FINE project allowed them to pool strong data. As a result, they felt that few participants stopped the program prematurely. The focus on the participants´ motivation for the program also helped with the process.

“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,” remarked researcher Mads Rosenkilde in a prepared statement.