Over the weekend, many fitness enthusiasts take advantage of their extra free time to go on long bike rides, epic runs and other all-day fitness extravaganzas. But if you've only got half an hour, a new study shows that's all you need to get the weight loss benefits of exercise.
Sixty "moderately overweight" Danish men participated in a study at the University of Copenhagen. They all wished to lose weight and committed to regular exercise for three months. They either biked, rowed or jogged for either 30 or 60 minutes. Researchers found that, all else controlled for, the men who exercised for 30 minutes lost an average eight pounds, while the 60-minute men lost only six pounds on average.
Why? The researchers guess that the hour-long workout prompted a compensatory rise in appetite that negated the extra work. Or, perhaps, the longer workout left participants more exhausted, diminishing their activity levels for the rest of the day.
In any case, it's happy news that a 30 minute workout is all it takes, so here are some suggestions for a quick weekend jaunt:
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