Where you’re from could impact your workout, a new study finds
Don’t trust those numbers on the treadmill: South Asian men may need to exercise up to 100 minutes more per week than men of European descent in order to reap the same health benefits, according to researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
For the study, researchers examined the effect 10-minute bouts of exercise had on a slew of measurements including blood glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. They found that people from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh had to exercise longer in order to score similar improvements in these cardio-metabolic risk factors as European guys.
Blame genetics, says study author Jason Gill, Ph.D. According to his research, South Asian men’s muscles are less effective at burning fat than their European counterparts and they also tend to carry more fat and store it in their belly. All of these factors increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease, which means you’d have to push harder (with your doctor’s okay) to score as much of a benefit as someone without the risks, Dr. Gill adds.
Of course, some of the factors that affect your workout—such as how much sleep you get, what you eat, and how much effort you put in—you can control, while others, like your heritage or family health history, you can’t.
Carving out more gym time isn’t always the best solution either. What is: upping the intensity. In fact, if you spend your time well, you can score the benefits of a longer workout in 10 minutes. Don’t believe us? Burn fat, build muscle, and beat workout boredom with our program 10-Minute Torchers.