Tags: child | exercise | diabetes

Longer Workouts Boost Children's Health

Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 11:36 AM


More is better, at least when it comes to exercise for kids. That’s the chief finding of new research that found 20 minutes of daily, vigorous exercise can reduce a child's risk of diabetes and boost weight loss, but that a 40-minute workout is even more effective.
"If exercise is good for you, then more exercise ought to be better for you and that is what we found for most of our outcomes," said lead researcher Dr. Catherine Davis, a clinical health psychologist at the Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Georgia Health Sciences University.
Pediatric and adult studies have consistently shown significant benefits of aerobic activity in boosting metabolism, weight loss and heart health.
But the new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is among the first to quantify how those benefits increase along with the amount of time a child works out.
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The study, which tracked 222 overweight inactive Augusta 7- to 11-year-olds, found children who exercised for 40 minutes had a 22 percent reduction in insulin resistance – a risk factor for diabetes – compared to an 18 percent reduction in the 20-minute group.
The results also showed that extra 20 minutes helped kids lose more body and belly fat. Benefits were noted without restrictive diets and in black and white boys and girls alike.
"Obesity is a growing public health crisis that is affecting youth throughout the United States, and we know that obesity can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Michael Lauer, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Division of Cardiovascular Sciences of the National Institute of Health.
"This research adds to the body of evidence that physical activity improves children's health, that longer periods of exercise provide a greater benefit and that increased physical activity among overweight and obese children could stave off the onset of type 2 diabetes."
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
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About 20 minutes of daily exercise can cut a child's risk of diabetes and boost weight loss, but more is even better.
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Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 11:36 AM
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