4 Simple, Life-Changing Facts About Working Out

Ok, you know SELFers are into working out—we bootcamp, we CrossFit, we Ironman—but even if you're not an extreme athlete, we say you get major props even if you just do a little. Science proves it! Below, four surprising facts about exercise.

1. Even super-slow running helps your heart, according to a brand-new study.

When you compare runners to people who don't run, the pavement-pounders are significantly less likely to die of cardiovascular-related causes—even if they're really slow or don't run far at all, reports TIME.

More: Know Your Target Heart-Rate Training Zone

2. A 30-minute workout could be more effective than a 60-minute one.

In one study, exercisers working for a half hour lost more weight after 13 weeks (7 pounds!) than those who hit the gym for a full hour—those guys only lost 5 pounds.

3. A coffee-break-length cardio session might cure anxiety.

After a group of sedentary women diagnosed with anxiety disorder did two 16-minute bouts of cardio per week for six weeks, a whopping 40 percent no longer met the diagnostic criteria for anxiety. That's according to a study from the University of Georgia in Athens.

More: Quick Cardio Workouts to Boost Fitness

4. Quick and intense sequences burn crazy calories.

Tabata training (interval moves done for 20 seconds each for eight rounds, with a 10-second break between each round—four minutes of work, total) burns 13.5 calories per minute and doubles your metabolic rate for 30 minutes after your sweat sesh. You've got four minutes in your packed schedule—we're pretty sure of it.

More: 20-Minute Tabata Workout to Burn Calories Quickly

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About the Author

Anna Maltby

SELF gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.
SELF gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

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