Ten minutes of brisk exercise triggers metabolic changes lasting for at least an hour

The AP reports, “Ten minutes of brisk exercise triggers metabolic changes that last at least an hour,” with more fit exercisers reaping a greater number of benefits.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital came to that conclusion after measuring “biochemical changes in the blood of a variety of people: the healthy middle-aged, some who became short of breath with exertion, and marathon runners.”

In a study of “70 healthy people put on a treadmill, the team found more than 20 metabolites that change during exercise, naturally produced compounds involved in burning calories and fat and improving blood-sugar control.”

As the Scientific American points out, “The virtues of exercise are myriad: better cardiovascular health, decreased risk for diabetes, boosted mood, and even perhaps a leaner physique. But aside from such macro links and knowledge about the heart rates, blood–oxygen levels and hormonal responses related to exercise, scientists have a relatively cursory understanding of the chemical mechanisms at work in the body during and after physical activity.”

This study may be a beginning. But, in the meantime, it backs up my advice to patients, “Even if you can only exercise for 10 minutes at a time, that may well be very helpful to your fitness.”

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