Running around like a child in a park could be more beneficial to your health than traditionally adult activities like jogging, University of Glamorgan research has found.
The research team has found that short sharp sprints of up to 30 seconds could be as beneficial as doing up to five sessions of an hour's exercise a week.
The researchers found that shorter bursts of exercise could be more practical to follow.
To reach the conclusion, the university studied the exercise patterns over several years, comparing short high-intensity sprints to longer endurance training, such as cycling and jogging.
"Six 30-second sprints three times a week can have the same health and weight-loss benefits as jogging or cycling for up to 45 minutes several times a week," BBC quoted Prof Julien Baker, who conducted the research with Prof Bruce Davies, as saying.
Prof Baker said a 30m to 100m sprint, lasting up to 30 seconds, with four-minute rest periods in between, would be beneficial.
"High-intensity programmes are much easier to administer and more practical in terms of adherence. For children who are overweight or obese, it may be better to put them on an intermittent programme of high-intensity exercise for a short period," the expert said.
He added: "This type of activity may also be used as a defence for cardiovascular disease, and research carried out in the laboratory has shown significant reductions in post exercise blood pressure.
"These findings indicate that intermittent exercise may provide similar benefits as prolonged moderate exercise in the treatment for hypertension."