In the quest to slim down, some folks do too much too quickly. Trying to train for a marathon when you can barely run a mile, or spending hours in the gym with no visible results can leave you sad, unmotivated and may drive you back into old, bad habits.
A new study suggests that hard exercise may not be the right way to approach weight loss, especially for people who are severely overweight or obese. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have found that overweight people who exercise for short periods of time feel happier and more motivated to continue their work than those who exercise for an hour or more.
"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," said Astrid Jepersen, one of the study's authors, in a press release. "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."
Jepersen added that public health officials should take a more holistic rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to combating obesity. Psychology, culture and social structures should all play an important role in determining how a person can develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, she said.
Maintaining a healthy weight may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In addition, staying fit may qualify you for lower life insurance rates. For convenient life insurance quotes, use our online quote generator to find out which policies fit your needs.