Exercise, Abdominal Fat, Insulin Resistance
Researchers writing in The Journal of Applied Physiology studied 16 obese men and women, about 63 years old, during a 12 week exercise program. During the program the participants exercised 5 days a week for 60 minutes a day (treadmill/cycle ergometry @ 85% of heart rate max). Among the many things the researchers measured was total abdominal fat, subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) and visceral fat (the fat that surrounds the organs).
From the study abstract: “Exercise improves glucose metabolism and delays the onset and/or reverses insulin resistance in the elderly by an unknown mechanism. In the present study we examined the effects of exercise training on glucose metabolism, abdominal adiposity and adipocytokines* in obese elderly.”
What the researchers found: “Visceral fat loss after aerobic exercise training improves glucose metabolism and is associated with the reversal of insulin resistance in older obese men and women.”
*Adipocytokines are a collective term for secretions from the fat cells that help regulate energy metabolism and food intake among other functions.
Reference: O’Leary VB, Marchetti CM, Krishnan RK, Stetzer BP, Gonzalez F, Kirwan JP. Exercise-induced reversal of Insulin Resistance in Obese Elderly is associated with reduced Visceral Fat.J Appl Physiol (December 22, 2005) Study abstract