New research shows exercising longer or with more intensity will not significantly increase the amount of weight a dieting woman loses.
Though it is known exercise is necessary to help long-term weight loss, the optimal amount of exercise necessary to maintain that weight loss has not been established. However, it has been thought that more exercise and exercising with more intensity may improve long-term weight loss.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh studied the effect of exercise of varying duration and intensity. Duration ranged from moderate to high and intensity ranged from moderate to vigorous. More than 200 overweight adult women were included in the study. .
Women were randomly assigned to one of four exercise regimens and all were instructed to reduce caloric intake to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories and reduce their dietary fat to between 20 percent and 30 percent of total energy intake..
Researchers found average weight loss was statistically significant in all exercise groups. However, the duration or intensity of exercise did not seem to matter. .
Researchers say, "Weight loss was significant within all groups, but there was no significant effect of either exercise duration or exercise intensity on changes in body weight between groups.".
Researchers of the study say the results have implications for prescription of exercise for sedentary, overweight adults. Their results suggest that moderate to high levels of exercise used in combination with a decrease in calorie intake results in 8 percent to 10 percent reductions in body weight following a 12-month intervention..
Moreover, participants randomized to vigorous exercise intensity did not have greater weight loss than those randomized to a similar dose of exercise performed at a moderate intensity."