Exercise may counteract overindulgence

accreditation
iStock
Stuffing yourself with too many holiday goodies? Exercising daily might reduce the harmful effects to your health, according to a small new study.

Previous research has shown that even a few days of consuming far more calories than you burn can damage your health.

The new study included 26 healthy young men who were asked to overeat and who either were inactive or exercised on a treadmill for 45 minutes a day.

Decline in blood sugar control

Daily calorie intake increased by 50% in the inactive group and by 75% in the exercise group. That meant they had the same net daily calorie surplus, said the researchers at the University of Bath, in England.

After just one week of overeating, all the participants had a significant decline in blood sugar control. Not only that, their fat cells activated genes that result in unhealthy changes to metabolism and that disrupt nutritional balance.

These negative effects, however, were much lower in those who were doing daily exercise, according to the study, which was published in The Journal of Physiology.

"Our research demonstrates that a short period of overconsumption and reduced physical activity leads to very profound negative changes in a variety of physiological systems," study co-author Jean-Philippe Walhin said in a journal news release. "But a daily bout of exercise stops most of these negative changes from taking place."

And holidays often mean people are eating more and exercising less, another researcher said.

"If you are facing a period of overconsumption and inactivity, which is probably quite common around Christmastime, then our study shows that a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes from taking place even though you are gaining weight," study senior author Dylan Thompson said in the news release.

"The effects are obvious, but the underlying causes will need further study to be determined," he said. "The findings are likely to apply to other groups, like older adults and women, and perhaps to lesser amounts of [exercise]."

More information

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention offers holiday health and safety tips.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
8% - 409 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
59% - 2959 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
30% - 1536 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 143 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.60
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.04
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.95
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.55
+0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,795.54
+0.4%
Silver
20.53
-0.7%
Palladium
2,229.50
-0.6%
Platinum
936.51
-0.9%
Brent Crude
96.65
+1.8%
Top 40
63,771
0.0%
All Share
70,266
0.0%
Resource 10
65,045
0.0%
Industrial 25
85,829
0.0%
Financial 15
15,741
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE