Woods says that is a promising finding. "The benefits of exercise were apparent even if the animals were still eating a high-fat diet. That tells me that exercise could decrease or prevent these life-threatening diseases by reducing inflammation even when obesity is still present."
"The good news is that this was a very modest exercise program. The mice ran on a treadmill only about one-fourth of a mile five days a week. For humans, that would probably translate into walking 30 to 45 minutes a day five days a week," he noted.
"Even if you struggle with dieting, we believe you can still reduce the likelihood of developing obesity-related inflammatory diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, by adding a modest amount of exercise to your life," said Woods.
These results were reinforced by the scientists' study of sedentary older adults published in a recent issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity (BBI).
In that 10-month study, one group of sedentary older adults participated in three 45- to 60-minute cardiovascular exercise sessions per week, while another group focused on exercises to improve non-cardiovascular flexibility and balance for 75 minutes twice a week.
"At the end of the study, the 'cardio' group had lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), less belly fat, and improved general fitness than the 'flex' group," said Ph.D. candidate Vieira.
"The lower CRP levels were partially mediated by the reduction in trunk fat," she explained.
|Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign