One out of three Americans are obese or overweight, a state of affairs that leads to insulin resistance and increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Exercise can be daunting, especially when the goal seems distant. According to new research, a single session of exercise can improve metabolic health by increasing fat oxidation and storage. “Exercise decreases everyone’s insulin resistance and therefore reduces the chances of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes", says Andrea Cornford, a member of the research team.
The study, conducted by Andrea Cornford, Minghua Li, Simon Schenk, Matthew Harber and Jeffrey Horowitz, Division of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, looked at the effects of overeating, and exercise, observing how fat is stored in the muscle. Five obese women were asked to overeat, in two separate studies. Following one session of consuming an excess of 700 calories, the women did not exercise, and in the other, they overate and did exercise. The results showed that exercising just once helped avoid the accumulation of fat by-products that lead to disease.
The following morning the group measured the presence of triglycerides with muscle biopsy, as well as the ratio of fatty acid uptake and oxidation. They found that exercise increased the oxidation of fat. “This study shows that even a single bout of exercise helps obese individuals increase their body’s fat-burning rate and improve their metabolic health”, says Andrea Cornford.
The findings are being presented at The Integrative Biology of Exercise V meeting, sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS), Sept. 24-27.
The take home message is that exercise undoubtedly promotes better health. This new study should motivate anyone who has had difficulty starting an exercise program. Though you may not see the immediate health benefits of weight loss and increased muscle tone, your body will experience immediate benefits at a cellular level.
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