Long Walking is Better Than Heavy Gym Workouts

by Anne Trueman on  March 1, 2013 at 12:52 PM Health Watch
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Do you dread exercising in the gym? All you require is to stop being a couch potato and start walking. A new study claims that long periods of low intensity exercises such as standing up or walking gives you more benefits than short sessions of vigorous physical activity.
Long Walking is Better Than Heavy Gym Workouts
Long Walking is Better Than Heavy Gym Workouts

The insulin sensitivity and lipid levels, which are the main indicators of diabetes and obesity, are improved by simply moving or extended walking throughout the day as compared to high intensity gym workouts.

According to scientists people generally spend long lazy hours after vigorous workouts.

Dr. Hans Savelberg, from Maastricht University in Holland, conducted a study to establish the fact that long walks are better than intense gym sessions. The study was later published in PLOS One journal.

Dr. Hans Savelberg said, "One hour of daily physical exercise cannot compensate for the negative effects of inactivity on insulin sensitivity and plasma lipids if the rest of the day is spent sitting."

"Reducing inactivity by low intensity activities such as walking at a leisurely pace and standing is more effective than physical exercise in improving these parameters in sedentary subjects. Our study suggests that in addition to health interventions that stress the importance of spending enough energy to maintain a neutral energy balance, a minimal daily amount of non-sitting time should also be promoted."

The study aimed at assessing the effect of high-intensity gym workout against a longer low-intensity activity.

The researchers enrolled 18 youngsters aged between 19 to 24 years. The participants were divided into three groups. The first group was the baseline group who sat daily for 14 hours and did not do any workouts, the second group of volunteers sat for 13 hours and did one hour of intense stationary bike workout. The last group sat for six hours, stood for two hours and walked lightly for four hours.

The results were amazingly positive for group three volunteers-those who walked and stood for hours. The group also experienced reduced insulin resistance that mitigated the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The lipid and cholesterol levels also showed improvement with low-intensity physical exercises, thus reducing the risk of heart ailments such as heart attack and stroke.

The conclusion drawn from the study was that low-intensity exercises are far more superior than high-intensity workouts. They help in enhancing insulin sensitivity, toning heart muscles and in burning body fat.

The study suggested that sedentary lifestyle is highly detrimental for your body and low-intensity exercises can bring tremendous improvement in your health.

The scientists added, "The study concludes that when energy expenditure is equivalent, longer durations of low-intensity exercise may offer more benefits than shorter periods of intense activity."

Source: Medindia

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