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Single workout can 'boost metabolism for days'

The positive effects of exercise on the metabolic system could last long after the activity, according to a new study.

Research by UT Southwestern Medical Center on mice showed that neurons – the basic units of the nervous system – which influence metabolism are active for up to two days after a single workout.

The research could offer new insight into the brain’s role in fitness.

“It doesn’t take much exercise to alter the activity of these neurons,” said Dr. Kevin Williams, a neuroscientist and one of the researches at UT Southwestern.

“Based on our results, we would predict that getting out and exercising even once in a semi-intense manner can reap benefits that can last for days, in particular with respect to glucose metabolism.”

The research looked at the effects of short- and long-term exercise on two types of neurons found in both humans and mice.

One of the neurons – proopiomelanocortin (POMC) – has in the past been associated with reduced appetite and lower blood glucose levels, as well as higher energy burning when activated. The other, AgRP/NPY, has been proven to increase appetite and diminish metabolism when activated.

Researchers found that a single bout of exercise can boost the activity of POMC neurons and inhibit the counterpart NPY/AgRP neuron for up to two days. The study also suggest that the changes last longer with more training.

The study was published in the December edition of Molecular Metabolism. To access the full research, click here.

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The positive effects of exercise on the metabolic system could last long after the activity, according to a new study.
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