What Type of Exercise is Best?
August 19, 2004
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Most people consider long, continuous workouts to be beneficial. However, a new study shows exercising in intervals may be a more effective way to lower fat in the bloodstream.
Researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia studied how intermittent exercises affect triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are artery-blocking fats found in the bloodstream.
Study participants were followed for three days. On the first day, they ate a high-fat meal and did not exercise at all. On the second day, they ate a high-fat meal after exercising continuously for 30 minutes. On the third day, participants ate a high-fat meal after performing intermittent exercises. The intermittent exercises consisted of three, 10-minute bouts of exercise separated by 20-minute rest periods.
Results show when participants exercised intermittently before eating a high-fat meal, their triglyceride levels were reduced by nearly 30 percent. On the other hand, when they performed continuous exercises, their triglyceride levels were only reduced by 15 percent.
Researchers say exercising before a meal is crucial for lowering fat because muscle contractions stimulate a fat-clearing enzyme. That enzyme peaks about 12 hours after an exercise session. Thus, researchers say it’s best to exercise 12 hours before eating a large or high-fat meal.
Authors of the study conclude, “Most Americans exercise about 30 minutes a day. Based on the results of the research, the intermittent approach would probably be best for most Americans at lowering fat in the bloodstream.”
SOURCE: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2004;36:1364-1371
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.
Back to News