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Shorter, High-Intensity Workouts More Beneficial for Teens, Study Says

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(PAISLEY, Scotland) -- High-intensity exercise may be more beneficial than endurance training if trying to prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a new study of teens in Scotland.

Researchers looked at 57 adolescent  children -- 47 boys and 10 girls -- randomly assigned to high-intensity or moderate exercise levels.  After seven weeks of three exercise sessions per week, with high-intensity groups doing series of 20-meter sprints over 30 seconds and moderate groups running for 20 minutes per session, researchers found that the high-intensity work-outs equaled to more time with less total energy expenditures compared to moderate workouts.

The authors point out that while children showed improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness, blood pressure and body composition at both intensity levels, those in the high-intensity group reached those health benefits but with only 15 percent of the exercise time.

The study, published this week in the American Journal of Human Biology suggest that shorter, more intense workouts present a more time-efficient option to cut down risks of cardiovascular disease in teens, according to study author Duncan Buchan, of the the University of the West of Scotland, and colleagues.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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