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Sports medicine specialist: Are 20 minutes of fitness exercises enough to lose weight permanently?


Long, low-intensity workouts promote fat burning
How much time should we invest at least to be fit and burn fat? Many people wanting to lose weight keep discussing this. Are 20 minutes enough? Or you should spend more time doing sports. Caroline Werkmeister, medical director at the competence center for sports and exercise medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, answers questions about the right training.

Does fat loss only start after 20m minutes?
"No," says Werkmeister. "There are different ways of generating energy, and they all run in parallel." However, the type of energy generation depends on the intensity and duration of the load.

First of all, adenosine triphosphate, the carrier of immediate cell energy, plays the most important role. The majority of the energy comes from carbohydrates in the case of short, intensive loads, according to Werkmeister. Little fat is burned. The fat and protein reserves are only addressed with longer and less intensive training.

If you want to lose weight, you should therefore choose long activities with low intensity, such as endurance sports. Interval training, in which the movement with low intensity is briefly and repeatedly interrupted by energy-intensive phases, is particularly suitable for getting rid of excess kilos. Muscle mass, diet and stress level have a significant impact on the type and amount of fat burn, as well as other factors, so that blanket statements can only be seen as rough guidelines.

In general, in order to lose weight, more energy must be burned than is supplied to the body in the form of food. Sustainable weight loss can be achieved through a healthy diet combined with regular training.

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