A vigorous 20-minute workout a day can be a huge help for teens. The Washington Post

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Engaging in vigorous exercise for 20 minutes every day could be the most effective way for teenagers to improve and maintain their cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study by the Journal of Pediatrics.

Cardiorespiratory fitness refers the your lungs and heart provide oxygen to the organs and muscles in the body when exercising. Cardiorespiratory fitness that is good has been proven to reduce risk of being overweight, diabetic hypertension, cardiovascular disease bad mental health, and much more.


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Participants in the study included 339 teenagers between the ages of 13-14 who participated over two terms in exercise programs which focused on running using wrist-worn trackers to calculate what intensity they were putting into their training.

Researchers found that teens increased their cardiorespiratory fitness within 20 minutes of running vigorously. Exercise for longer durations did not increase their fitness. The current guidelines require teens to engage in minimum 60 mins each day of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in order to increase their fitness. However, fitness and health experts have noted that many teens are finding the time commitment difficult to sustain.


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Only one-fourth of young people get active an hour every day, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers say their findings indicate that when you exercise vigorously, rather than moderately (running for instance rather than brisk walking) prolonged periods of physical activity aren’t necessary to increase cardiovascular fitness. They also note the fact that cardiorespiratory fitness alone was evaluated in the study, but other aspects of teenagers health could benefit from exercise at a lower level.


This piece is part Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a an in-depth review of the statistical aspects of health-related issues. Further information and research can be found by clicking the links.

8025670622173 Twenty minutes vigorous workout every day can do wonders for teenagers.

The Washington Post