PhotoIncorporating exercise into a daily routine can often be difficult and tiresome. However, for those consumers who aren’t feeling particularly inspired to get up and work out, a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that one single workout can affect the metabolism for up to two days.

“It doesn’t take much exercise to alter the activity of...neurons,” said Dr. Kevin Williams. “Based on our results, we would predict that getting out and exercising even once in a semi-intense manner can reap benefits that can last for days, in particular with respect to glucose metabolism.”

Power of a workout

The researchers wanted to evaluate the effects of both long-term and short-term exercise on the brain. To test this, they had mice complete exercise regimens ranging from zero to 10 days.

The focus of the study was to see how exercise affects two neurons in the brain, shared by both mice and humans. One neuron works to increase appetite and reduce metabolism, while the other burns more energy, reduces appetite, and lowers blood glucose levels.

The experiment showed that one workout -- which was three 20-minute runs on the treadmill -- was found to decrease the mice’s appetite for up to six hours.

The researchers found that the neurons responsible for burning energy and lowering glucose levels remained active for up to two days after a workout for mice that were on the exercise regimen.

For diabetes sufferers, these results might be even more significant, as the researchers believe the findings could incentivize healthcare providers to offer alternative forms of treatment and therapies for those trying to balance their glucose levels and metabolism.

“It is possible that activating [these] neurons may hold therapeutic benefits for patients one day, especially for diabetics who need improved blood-glucose regulation,” said Dr. Williams. “This research is not just about improving fitness...A better understanding of neural links to exercise can potentially help a number of conditions affected by glucose regulation.”

Exercise alternatives

For those who are unable to exercise, a recent study found that hot water treatment can help improve both inflammation and blood sugar levels.

Researchers found that the study’s participants experienced positive health benefits after just one hour of being immersed in 102-degree water. However, the longer the participants kept up with the treatment, the better the results.

After two weeks, participants were found to have lower levels of fasting insulin and blood sugar, as well as reduced levels of inflammation.


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