What's better for you: moderate but prolonged exercise, or a shorter but more intense workout? A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine found that both levels of exercise will help you lose about the same amount of belly fat if you burn the same number of calories. But only high-intensity exercise helped control blood sugar levels.
In the study, 300 people with abdominal obesity walked and jogged on treadmills at a moderate or high intensity, burning equivalent numbers of calories. The 217 people who stuck through the study for the entire six months lost on average 1.75 inches from their waistlines—about 5% to 6% of body weight. It made no difference whether they huffed through the higher-intensity workout or the more moderate regimen.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.