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Medical XpressStudy: Single Episode of Intense Exercise Reduces Physical Activity and Body Temperature, Contributing to Weight Gain

Single episode of high-intensity exercise disrupts circadian rhythm of corticosterone, reduces subsequent physical activity and body temperature, leading to weight gain.

A recent study from the University of Tsukuba reveals that a single session of high-intensity exercise can disrupt the circadian rhythm of the stress hormone corticosterone, leading to decreased physical activity and body temperature, ultimately contributing to weight gain. The research, conducted on mice, highlights the need to consider not only calories burned during exercise but also subsequent activity levels and circadian rhythms when designing weight loss regimens.

Key Points:

  • Objective: Investigate the impact of high-intensity exercise on physical activity, body temperature, and weight gain.
  • Study Design: Mice were divided into three groups: high-intensity exercise, moderate-intensity exercise, and rest.
  • Measurements: Physical activity and core body temperature were monitored before and after exercise.
  • Findings:
    • In the high-intensity exercise group, physical activity and core body temperature significantly decreased post-exercise.
    • Despite no changes in food intake, mice in the high-intensity group experienced weight gain.
    • A positive correlation was found between low blood corticosterone levels during wake times and reduced physical activity.
  • Mechanism: Disruption of the circadian rhythm of corticosterone leads to decreased physical activity and heat production.
  • Implications for Clinical Practice:
    • High-intensity exercise may inadvertently reduce overall physical activity, impacting weight loss efforts.
    • Designing exercise regimens should consider the balance of exercise intensity and subsequent activity levels.
    • Monitoring circadian rhythms could enhance the effectiveness of weight loss strategies.
  • Publication: The study is published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Recent data from 168 countries indicate that 27.5% of adults are insufficiently active to achieve health benefits, and the prevalence of physical inactivity is more than twice as high in high-income countries compared to low-income countries. (The Lancet)

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