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Old 05-20-2006, 08:45 PM
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Default Length of cardio may matter more than intensity

Here's good news: You don't have to run till you drop — you just have to keep running. The amount of exercise you do may matter more than the intensity for aerobic fitness, a new Duke University Medical Center study has found. One group of the study's 133 sedentary, nonsmoking subjects jogged 20 miles a week at 65 to 80 percent of peak VO2 (maximum rate of oxygen consumption). Another group jogged or walked 12 miles a week at the same level of VO2. A third group walked 12 miles a week at 40 to 55 percent of their peak VO2. The first group had the highest VO2 gain (indicating improved fitness), but not because they exercised harder — because they exercised more. Don't worry — you don't have to run 20 miles to get similar results. Says lead researcher Brian D. Duscha: "You only need to walk briskly for 12 miles per week, or for approximately 125 to 200 minutes per week, to improve your fitness level."
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