Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moderate exercising encourages a healthier lifestyle

A HEALTHY LIFE Interdisciplinary research at the University of Copenhagen explains why moderate exercising is more motivating than hard training. The findings have just been published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.

Last year, a research team monitored just over sixty moderately overweight – but healthy – Danish men for 13 weeks in their efforts to get in better shape. The men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost an average of 3.6 kg. during the three months, while weight loss was 2.7 kg. for those exercising for a full hour. By means of qualitative interviews based on ethnological expertise, the researchers have now approximated the test subjects by, e.g., identifying the cultural barriers in relation to training and change of entrenched habits.

"The qualitative data offer a possible explanation for the surprising biological data. The subjects in the test group that exercised the least talk about increased energy levels and a higher motivation for exercising and pursuing a healthy everyday life. They take the stairs, take the dog for an extra walk or cycle to work. In contrast, the men who exercised for one hour a day, after training, felt exhausted, demotivated and less open to making a healthy change. We are thus seeing that a moderate amount of exercise will significantly impact the subjects' daily practices," says Astrid Jespersen, ethnologist and associate professor at the Faculty of Humanities.

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