Take a break to burn more fat

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: January 8th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Feel the burn. Take a break. Feel the burn. Lose more fat!

Sound too good to be true? It might not be, according to a small University of Tokyo study that compared how much fat is burned during a long, nonstop workout versus one with a built-in break.

The researchers asked seven physically active, healthy men… who were, on average, twenty-five years old… to ride a cycling machine and then rest in chairs during three separate trials.

In the first trial, the men worked out for an hour and then rested for an hour. In the second trial, they worked out for half an hour, rested for twenty minutes, worked out for another half hour and then rested for an hour. In the third trial, they rested for an hour and didn’t work out at all.

Their heart rates and respiratory gases were checked throughout the trials.

Researchers found the single, no-break trial broke down fat steadily and progressively. But the one with the built-in breaks broke down more fat than the single trial… especially in the last fifteen minutes of the workout.

Though more studies are planned, the researchers say these preliminary findings may produce new workout regimens for those who want to lose a few pounds or control their weight. And for those of us who dread or even put off exercising because we think we don’t have enough time for a long, heavy-duty session, adding a break to our workout could be just what the doctor ordered.