Weight Gain Alert: Find out why a single high-intensity workout can lead to weight gain and reduced activity levels even after you leave the gym!

Tokyo, Japan – A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan reveals the impact of high-intensity exercise on stress hormones and weight gain in mice. The study, which involved dividing the rodents into three groups – vigorous exercise, moderate exercise, and rest – found that a single session of intense physical activity led to decreased activity, lower body temperature, and subsequent weight gain.

The mice in the high-intensity exercise group exhibited a decline in core body temperature after a 30-minute treadmill session, leading to reduced physical activity and weight gain the following day. Surprisingly, this weight gain occurred despite no observed changes in food consumption. Researchers hypothesized that the mice compensated for the energy expended during the intense exercise by reducing their overall activity levels.

Study author Takashi Matsui noted that the findings may have implications for humans, as many individuals report feeling too exhausted to move after strenuous exercise. The study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, highlights the importance of understanding the effects of high-intensity exercise on overall physical activity and weight management.

In addition to the impact of exercise intensity, the researchers also highlighted the role of corticosterone levels in regulating physical activity. Low corticosterone levels upon waking were associated with decreased activity levels in the mice. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone in humans, plays a similar role to corticosterone in animals like lab rats, with levels peaking in the early morning and decreasing throughout the day.

Moving forward, the researchers plan to investigate whether multiple sessions of intense exercise lead to further weight gain in mice. They also emphasize the importance of considering exercise intensity and its impact on overall daily activity when designing fitness routines for weight loss. Matsui advises moderation in exercise intensity to maintain overall daily activity levels and avoid the counterproductive effects of excessive exertion.

However, not all experts agree with this approach. Herman Pontzer, a metabolism researcher at Duke University, expressed skepticism about prescribing moderate activity over vigorous activity based on the study’s results. He highlighted the need for caution in extending these findings to humans and emphasized the complexity of translating results from animal studies to human exercise recommendations.

In conclusion, the study sheds light on the complex interplay between exercise intensity, stress hormones, and weight management. As researchers continue to explore these relationships, the findings underscore the importance of balancing exercise intensity with overall daily activity levels for optimal health and weight maintenance.