One of the greatest benefits of exercising regularly is that you get to eat more! It’s simple math, really. But a new study conducted at the University of Bath in England reveals that the benefits go way beyond merely burning extra calories, according to the Journal of Physiology.
For the study, the team gathered 26 healthy males; one group was sedentary and the other group exercised for 45 minutes a day on a treadmill. All of the participants were told to overeat. The inactive group increased calorie intake by 50% while the exercisers increased consumption by 75%. After one week, both the exercisers and the inactive participants all experienced decreased blood sugar control – additionally, their fat cells generated unhealthy metabolic changes in their bodies.
But here’s the cool part: the exercisers experienced much fewer negative physiological changes than the inactive group, even though they increased their calorie consumption 25% more than the non-exercisers. So, go ahead and splurge this holiday season without guilt — that is, if you continue your workouts throughout the season.
More Exercise Research
In addition to a daily workout, recent research has that incorporating activity throughout your daily routine is necessary, especially if you sit at a desk all day. Another 35 minutes of simply moving helps keep a healthy metabolism.
Of course, this is easier said than done – we have to make a concerted effort to spread activity throughout the day or before we know it, the day’s over and our joints are stiff and our energy levels have plummeted from sitting all day. Here are some tips to make it easier:
- Try to “move” for 4-5 minutes every hour. Get up and go to the water cooler or to the restroom if you can.
- Keep a set of dumbells in the bottom of your desk to use several minutes each day
- Stand behind your chair and do some squats every hour
- While watching television in the evening, make it a point to get up and tidy up the kitchen or other areas of your house every time a commercial break comes on. Many commercial breaks easily last 3.5-4.5 minutes each. If you get up and move every time the commercials come on, you can add at least 16 minutes of activity every hour you watch television.