20 minutes of vigorous exercise a day works wonders for teens – The Washington Post

Exercising vigorously for 20 minutes a day may be the best way to do this Adolescents to develop and maintain cardiorespiratory fitnesssuggests a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to how well the heart and lungs supply oxygen to the muscles and organs of the body during physical exertion. Good cardiorespiratory fitness has been shown to reduce the risks of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, poor mental health, and more.

Study participants included 339 teens, ages 13 to 14, who participated in two years of school exercise programs that focused on running, with wrist trackers that calculated the intensity of their exercise.

Researchers found that teens increased their cardiorespiratory fitness in 20 minutes of vigorous running. Exercising for longer does not improve their fitness. Current guidelines call for young people to do at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity Physical activity To maximize their fitness, but health and fitness experts said many teens find it difficult to maintain a daily time commitment.

only a quarter Young people are physically active For an hour a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers say their findings show that when exercising vigorously rather than moderately (running, for example, rather than brisk walking), longer periods of physical activity are not necessary to improve cardio-respiratory fitness. However, they note that only cardiorespiratory fitness was evaluated, and that other aspects of teen health You may benefit from physical activity at a lower intensity.

This article is part of The Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a quick look at the statistical side of health issues. Additional information and related research are available through hyperlinks.

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