In a new study, researchers found that even a single session of moderate aerobic exercise makes a difference in the cells of otherwise sedentary people.
The research was conducted by a team at Oregon State University.
In a recent study testing the effects of exercise on overall metabolism, researchers found
Mitochondria are the part of the cell responsible for the biological process of respiration, which turns fuels such as sugars and fats into energy, so the researchers focused only on mitochondria function.
They found that, regardless of what fuel the mitochondria were using, there were mild increases in the ability to burn off the fuels.
The researchers recruited participants who do not follow a regular exercise routine and had them ride a stationary bike for an hour at a moderate intensity.
They biopsied their muscles 15 minutes later to test how efficient the mitochondria were after the exercise was completed and compared those results with a resting day.
Post-exercise, study participants’ mitochondria burned 12-13% more fat-based fuel and 14-17% more sugar-based fuel. While the effects were not drastic, they were consistent.
Previous research has long established that regular exercise creates lasting change in people’s metabolism, making their bodies burn more energy even when they’re not working out.
Prior studies have looked at highly trained or athletic people, but this team wanted to look specifically at singular bouts of exercise in people who were generally active and disease-free but who did not have structured exercise regimes.
These people were on the lower end of fitness, which is linked to low mitochondrial abundance and energy production.
The team hopes these results help break down the mental barrier of people thinking they need to be elite athletes for exercise to make an impact on their health.
The study is published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. One author of the study is Matt Robinson.
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