Does Exercise Make You Lazy?

lazyAfter you hit the gym, do you collapse on your couch? We know the feeling. You’re less likely to walk, do chores, and other non-exercise activities after a hard workout, previous research has shown. But here’s the good news: A moderate workout can make youmore active a few days later, a new study suggests.recent Australian study had 16 overweight men do two different workouts: One hour-long treadmill walk at 4 mph, and one week later, the same bout with the treadmill incline turned up. Researchers expected that exercise would decrease daily activity because of exhaustion, but the results actually proved the opposite. People’s activity level showed no significant difference during the two days after working out, but then surged on the third day for those who walked with the incline—by a 25 percent increase in regular activity compared to the day they worked out, according to accelerometer readings. Why the delay? “The bout of exercise could act like a stimulant and trigger the hedonistic regions of the brain,” says James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist. “It basically causes a high—an exercise high—which may addict you to movement.” (Related from Men’s Health: The Biology of Running.) A 2007 review in the journal Obesity found similar results. Those authors explained that people may have a feeling of productiveness after hitting the gym, which in turn could motivate the person to be more active. However, several studies have shown that exercise can decrease non-exercise movement. Why? The obvious answer: Muscle soreness, since those studies had subjects do harder workouts. They also only looked at 24 hours after exercise, possibly missing out on any delayed benefit. Slumping into your couch after a workout might not seem like the biggest crime, but consider this: Someone who is more active outside of exercise can burn up to 2,000 more calories a day than someone who’s inactive, suggests a Journal of Internal Medicine review. The bottom line: If you’re just starting out, small steps count. For overweight guys, an incline treadmill will give you control over your intensity level and be easy on your joints. (Click here for a beginners’ weight-loss plan.) “Even the slightest exercise may get you hooked on continued activity,” says Dr. Levine. And for workout veterans trying to battle soreness, down 25 grams of whey protein after sweat sessions. A 2010 Australian study found that sedentary men who drank protein-fortified water after exercising had relieved soreness after 6 hours. —Sara Cann (Men’s Health) View original article click here

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