When it comes to burning fat, new research shows that 10-15 minutes of exercise may be just as effective than one hour of moderate exercise.
Dr. Paul Lee, an endocrinologist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and lead author of a new study, said in a press release that the new findings build on previous research into so-called brown fat — a type of fat tissue that essentially burns energy instead of storing it. What makes brown fat so special is that while 100 grams of white fat may store 600 calories, that same amount of brown fat will burn 600 calories. Brown fat’s very nature of burning fat makes it a good candidate for possibly treating obesity and diabetes.
The study, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism, shows that exercise equipment is not necessary for white fat to transform into brown fat. In fact, volunteers were exposed to cold temperatures the production of hormones associated with brown fat activation was measured. Ten to fifteen minutes of shivering in the cold was roughly equvalent to one hour of exercise.
The researchers identified irisin and FGF21 as two hormones that are stimulated by the cold and released from muscle and brown fat respectively. Aside from shedding light on a potential weight loss method, this study also gives researchers insight into how the body’s heating mechanism functions. «When we are cold, we first activate our brown fat because it burns energy and releases heat to protect us,” Lee told reporters. “When that energy is insufficient, muscle contracts mechanically, or shivers, thereby generating heat. However, we did not know how muscle and fat communicate in this process.»