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Effect of a Long Bout Vs. Short Bouts of Walking on Weight Loss 

Ameneh Madjd, Moira A. Taylor, Alireza Delavari, Reza Malekzadeh, Ian A. Macdonald, and Hamid R. Farshchi


  • Research Background:

This study investigates whether splitting daily walking into short bouts is more effective for weight loss compared to one long bout, within a 24-week diet program for women with overweight or obesity. Physical activity's impact on metabolic health markers was also examined.


  • Study Details: 

Sixty-five sedentary women with obesity or overweight were randomly assigned to either a long bout of walking (50 minutes daily) or short bouts (two 25-minute sessions daily), combined with a hypo-energetic diet. Their weight, BMI, waist circumference, and metabolic health markers were measured at the start and end.

  • Key Findings:

  1. The group that engaged in short bouts of walking showed a more significant reduction in both weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) compared to those who walked for one long session. This suggests that dividing exercise into more manageable segments could be more effective for weight management.

  2. Participants who walked in shorter sessions also saw a greater decrease in waist circumference. This is notable because a reduction in waist size is often associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, which is particularly important for individuals with diabetes.

  3. The study found no notable differences between the two groups in terms of metabolic health markers, such as blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. This indicates that while exercise pattern impacts weight loss, it may not differentially affect these specific metabolic health outcomes within the context of this study.

  4. The findings suggest that the pattern of physical activity, such as distributing walking across the day in shorter intervals, can influence the effectiveness of weight loss efforts. This flexibility in exercise scheduling could be particularly beneficial for people with busy lifestyles or those who find it challenging to commit to longer exercise sessions at once.

  • What Does This Mean for Diabetic Patients?

For diabetes patients managing weight, splitting physical activity into shorter sessions could enhance weight loss outcomes without negatively impacting metabolic health. This approach may offer a flexible and effective strategy for incorporating exercise into a comprehensive diabetes management plan.


  • Final Thoughts:  

Incorporating short bouts of physical activity, alongside a balanced diet, can significantly contribute to weight loss and may be a practical component of diabetes management. Future research should further explore long-term effects and adherence benefits, tailoring exercise recommendations to individual preferences and lifestyles.



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