If spending hours at the gym isn’t your thing, take heart. Recent studies report that shorter bouts of exercise at a higher intensity can improve fitness more than working out at a moderate pace for longer periods of time. In one study involving over 10,000 adults, people who walked slowly — even for up to an hour — saw no preventative benefits, while those who walked briskly or jogged cut their risk of metabolic syndrome (which includes hypertension, high blood sugar and extra weight) by nearly half. The same trend held for weight loss; people who exercised at a moderate level for 30 minutes a day lost more weight than those who slogged through hour-long sessions. So even if you don’t have time, rev up the intensity of your workouts to still reap the benefits of physical activity.
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