By Liz Applegate
You likely run for a number of reasons: to boost your health, improve your mood, build muscle, and burn calories to keep your weight in check. And now, there’s another reason to get up for that early morning run: fat-blasting irisin. New research from the University of Florida found that this hormone may help you keep fat off this winter.
Your body stores excess calories in fat cells called “white fat” cells. Brown fat cells, on the other hand, contain energy-burning compartments that release energy thought to keep the body warm. Everyone is born with this brown fat, but levels decrease with age.
Irisin is a hormone produced during exercise, and it’s thought to help turn white fat into brown fat. Since it’s been unclear what the role of irisin is in humans, Florida researchers studied fat tissue samples taken from women who had breast reduction surgery to better understand its function.
For the study, researchers kept the cells alive and exposed the white fat cells to irisin. They found that the hormone gave the mature white fat cells similar energy-burning properties found in brown fat. The researchers also observed that the hormone prevented new fat cells from forming, suggesting that irisin may help white fat cells become brown fat cells. That means your calorie-torching sweat sesh is helping your bodyburn fat in more ways than you might have thought.
Here’s how to adjust your workout routine and reap the benefits of this handy hormone.
At the beginning of each week, plan your workouts for the days to come. Sticking to your workout schedule will boost your irisin supply.
Bring a Friend
Enlist a workout buddy to keep you accountable: Studies show that accountability leads to more exercise sessions per week. (And working out with a friend is a lot more fun!)
Since cleaning up your diet will give you more energy during yourworkouts, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, dairy, and keep your portion sizes (and thus calories) in check. Irisin appears to only have a browning effect on mature white fat cells, so keeping your energy intake on point will help prevent new white fat cells from forming.
Source: Women’s Health Magazine | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide