People who go for intense workouts over fairly long periods of time often fare less well at avoiding serious conditions than those who opt for more moderate exercise, according to a new study. However, length and intensity of exercise can also bring their own rewards.
Researchers at Duke University found that individuals who followed a relatively gentle exercise regime such as 30 minutes of daily walking had more success at reducing a significant risk factor for heart disease and Diabetes, namely levels of fat in the blood called triglycerides. The benefits also lingered longer.
The study team said they were “amazed” to discover that not only did triglycerides drop more with moderate but continuous exercise compared to intense workouts but also the levels stayed low even two weeks after the gentler exercise ended.
On the other hand, levels of HDL “good” cholesterol tended to improve with the length and intensity of the workout, with the benefits “sustained over time.” The higher the levels of HDL cholesterol, the less the chance of a heart attack or stroke.
One possible conclusion to draw from the research is that people should check their cholesterol levels, including LDL”bad” cholesterol, with their doctor and tailor the intensity and duration of their workouts to focus on specific problems.
A balanced, nutritious diet combined with regular exercise can help reverse an underlying cause of excess weight and obesity, namely the imbalance of blood glucose and insulin called Insulin Resistance, which decreases insulin sensitivity. By reversing Insulin Resistance, it is possible to facilitate weight loss.