Engaging in as little as 7 minutes of vigorous exercise as part of daily physical activity appears to provide increased heart-protective health benefits in children and teens, a Canadian study suggests.
Bouts of high-intensity physical activity, such as running, swimming or playing soccer, are superior to longer periods of light and moderate exercise in reducing the risk factors that set kids on a path towards cardiovascular disease.
The findings were published online by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
In the study of 605 Alberta schoolchildren, aged nine to 17, researchers found that seven minutes a day of intense physical activity was associated with significant reductions in body weight and blood pressure levels, as well as increased fitness.
When it came to waist circumference, participants who did the highest amount of vigorous exercise each day pared their mid-sections by seven centimetres on average. Overweight subjects in that group reduced their waistlines by five centimetres.
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