Encouraging adolescents to aim high when exercising

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK suggests that for children and teenagers, short bursts of high intensity exercise is the most effective form of physical activity.

Dr Alan Barker, senior author of the study, explained that short bouts of intense activity have superior health benefits to moderate-intensity activity; proving advantageous in the reduction of blood sugar levels and systolic blood pressure. High-intensity physical activity can also increase fat metabolism in teenagers.

Children and adolescents generally engage in brief spurts of exercise; a pattern that is highly important according to Dr Barker. The study proves the value of accumulated high-intensity physical activity and the important health outcomes it carries for children and teenagers, particularly in regard to heart health.

According to the US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should engage in a minimum of one hour of physical activity each day. Exercise should include aerobic activities such as running or brisk walking, which assists the healthy development of the heart, lungs and blood vessels, and muscle and bone strengthening activities such as jumping rope or gymnastics.

Source: Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental