to hit pause on your daily routine for a little recharge? You might want to
rethink that strategy: Just two weeks of drastically reducing your physical
activity can hurt your body, according to preliminary research presented at the
European Congress on Obesity.
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study, researchers recruited 28 physically active young adults who averaged at
least 10 000 steps per day, but didn’t really exercise otherwise. They told the
participants to cut their daily step count by 80%, or to about 1 500
steps per day.
two weeks, the scientists noticed some pretty significant changes in the
participants’ body compositions, even though they didn’t eat any differently
during that time.
gained about half a kilogram in total body weight, lost about 360
grams of muscle mass, and performed worse on a test of cardio-respiratory
also saw increases in waist size, central fat percentage, and triglyceride
levels, or the amount of fat in their blood.
Ultimate Guide To Gain Muscle And Lose Fat
fat is related to visceral fat, the kind deep within your abdominal cavity
around vital organs like your liver and pancreas. This kind of fat is more
metabolically harmful, and can lead put you at risk of heart disease and
diabetes, says study author Daniel Cuthbertson, Ph.D., of the University of
in muscle mass can also raise your diabetes risk, too. It can make you become
less sensitive to insulin, he says – meaning that your body would need more and
more of the hormone to keep its blood sugar levels in check.
the effects of the two-week study don’t seem that major, they’re likely to be
compounded if your reduction in activity continues long-term, says Cuthbertson.
It’s similar to starting a sedentary desk job, where you stay seated all day,
commute by car, and don’t get any other exercise throughout the day, either.
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also impossible to say whether the effects of inactivity would be the same for
guys who lifted or exercised regularly and then drastically cut their activity
levels. Higher baseline levels of muscle may protect against some of the
decline, though it’s likely they’d still see some detriment – but a separate
study looking specifically at that group would need to be done to dig deeper
into it, he says.
originally published on menshealth.com
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