Visceral Fat Build Up Is The Cost of Inactivity and Lack of Exercise

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Exercise and Activity

Inactivity leads to significant increases in visceral fat, and a moderate exercise regimen can keep this potentially dangerous form of fat at bay, according to the results of the first randomized clinical trial evaluating the effects of exercise amount and intensity in sedentary overweight men and women.

Additionally, the Duke University Medical Center researchers found that increasing amounts of exercise can reduce visceral fat. In terms of overall weight gain, the patients who did not exercise would gain approximately four pounds per year, the researchers said.

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Visceral fat, the form which accumulates around the organs inside the belly, particularly concerns physicians because increased levels have been associated with insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and other metabolic syndromes. Visceral fat is located deeper in the body than subcutaneous fat, which lies just under the skin.

"In our study, the control group that did not exercise saw a sizable and significant 8.6 percent increase in visceral fat in only six months," said Duke exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, Ph.D., lead author of a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. "We also found that a modest exercise program equivalent to a brisk 30-minute walk six times a week can prevent accumulation of visceral fat, while even more exercise can actually reverse the amount of visceral fat.

"We believe that these results shine a clear spotlight on the high costs Americans are paying for their continued inactivity," Slentz continued. "I don't believe that people in general have gotten lazier

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