While we all may not do it regularly, we know that exercise can help keep us healthy and in shape. It is an easy way to lower stress, prevent obesity and diabetes, and helps to improve circulation. The positive endorphins that are released when you exercise can even help fight the symptoms of depression. On top of all this, it can even make our fat “smart.”
Wait a second…smart fat? Researchers conducted a study that examined cell activity during exercise. Exercising has positive effects on the metabolism, and can actually boost it to function better. During exercise, the findings revealed that inactive “white” fat cells actually changed to “brown” fat cells, which burn more calories. These findings biologically show why people, who exercise regularly, can maintain healthy, lean bodies.
When you exercise, there is a specific hormone released, and it’s pretty incredible. The hormone is called irisin. In the lab experiment, irisin actually boosted activity of another protein in fat cells, which converted them from white to brown fat. While white fat stores calories, brown fat helps the body burn calories. Additionally, brown fat can improve your metabolism and your sensitivity to insulin.
Beyond getting rid of fat, irisin has been shown to strengthen bones, but this was found when irisin was mixed with stem cells in the lab. Rather than maturing into fat cells, the stem cells became different cells, in the presence of irisin, which strengthen bones. These were human cells in the lab, not in actual people.
These new findings should definitely encourage you to get out and exercise regularly. You don’t have to go out and become a power-lifter or start training for the next Olympics, but 30 minutes of exercise (walking, biking, jogging, swimming, or even yoga) a day can benefit you emotionally, mentally, and physically.