Physical exercise is a kind of bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking,regardless of your age, sex or physical ability.
It is performed for various reasons, including increasing growth and development, preventing aging, strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance,and merely enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system and helps prevent "diseases of affluence" such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. It may also help prevent stress and depression.
Further if you are lacking in motivation to exercise this fall, some research led by a University of Florida researcher may inspire you to jump-start your fitness regimen. According to the new study,while exercising, a hormone is released that not only helps the body shed fat,but also prevents it from developing.
A scientist team lead by a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School discovered the hormone named as "irisin" in 2012. They isolated the natural hormone from muscle cells that trigger some of the health-promoting properties of exercise, which, they say, could be developed into novel treatments for diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
In their past study, the Harvard-affiliated team also found that as irisin levels rise through exercise, the hormone switches on genes that convert white fat into brown fat - the "good" fat. This conversion is beneficial, as brown fat burns off more excess calories than exercise alone.
Dr.Li-Jun Yang, a professor of hematopathology in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine,directed the new research.
Theteam leader Dr. Yang and colleagues aimed to understand the role of irisin in humans better and increase the knowledge base of how the hormone helps convert calorie-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells.
Therese archers told that they believe the research to be the first of its kind to explore irisin's effects on human fat tissue and fat cells.
As observed by the researchers, irisin hormone - which surges when the heart and other muscles are exerted - may also inhibit the formation of fatty tissue.
New research findings, published in the “American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism”, confirms previous conclusions that irisin may be a promising target to support people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Irisin works via a mechanism that boosts the activity of genes and a protein that are crucial to turning white fat cells into brown fat cells. The researchers also found irisin to have a role in burning fat by significantly increasing the amount of energy used by brown fat cells.
Dr.Yang and team conducted the research by collecting fat cells donated by 28participants who had undergone breast reduction surgery. Scientists exposed the fat samples to irisin, and as a result, saw an almost five fold increase in cells that contain the UCP1 protein - a protein crucial to fat burning.
"We used human fat tissue cultures to prove that irisin has a positive effect by turning white fat into brown fat and that it increases the body's fat-burning ability," says Dr. Yang.
Irisin hormone effects on fat cells development
By analyzing fat tissue samples, Dr. Yang and collaborators found that irisin suppresses fat cell formation by reducing the number of mature fat cells by20-60 percent, when compared with the control group.
The new finding indicates that the irisin hormone reduces fat storage in the body by hindering the process that turns undifferentiated stem cells into fat cells, while also promoting the stem cells' differentiation into bone-forming cells, the researchers say.
Again more than two thirds of U.S adults are considered to be overweight or obese.While there is no single approach to prevent or treat overweight and obesity,exercise in combination with behavioral treatment and diet can aid weight loss.The knowledge that the body produces small quantities of fat-fighting irisin emphasizes the importance of regular exercise.
Dr.Yang says that while the beneficial effects of irisin could potentially be developed into therapies in the future, the viability of an irisin-based treatment is uncertain and would not happen imminently.
"Instead of waiting for a miracle drug, you can help yourself by changing your lifestyle. Exercise produces more irisin, which has many beneficial effects including fat reduction, stronger bones, and better cardiovascular health”,says Dr. Li-Jun Yang.
Irisin's role in regulating fat cells sheds light on the way physical activity helps people stay slender, says Dr. Yang. "Irisin can do a lot of things. This is another piece of evidence about the mechanisms that prevent fat buildup and promote the development of strong bones when you exercise," she adds.
The research adds to increasing information regarding irisin's health benefits.Previous studies by Dr. Yang's group found that irisin improves heart function by boosting calcium levels that are critical for heart contractions. They also showed that the hormone reduced arterial plaque buildup in mouse models by preventing inflammatory cells from accumulating, thus reducing atherosclerosis.
Future work for the team will focus on irisin's effect on abdominal fat, which is associated with insulin resistance and high lipid levels.
Generally physical activity is defined as movement that involves contraction of your muscles. Any of the activities we do throughout the day that involve movement like housework, gardening, walking,climbing stairs are examples of physical activity.
By increasing the amount of physical activity in your everyday life is a good start and like parking a few blocks from your destination to get in some walking. But to really achieve fitness goals, you’ll want to incorporate structured, vigorous activities into your schedule to help you attain even more of your fitness and health goals.