University of Michigan researchers has examined the effect of exercise on fat accumulation in a new study involving five obese women. In one session the women overate and did not exercise; in a follow-on session they overate and did exercise.

Researchers found that:

* the body’s fat-burning oxidation rate was reduced after one day of overeating;

* conversely, just one session of exercise increased the rate of fat-burning oxidation; and

* exercise increased the amount of fat that would eventually be stored in the muscle.

The findings indicate that even one bout of exercise helps to reduce the fat by-products inside the muscle, which affects the insulin sensitivity. The findings also suggest that a single session of exercise ‘steers’ muscle fat towards oxidation, thereby avoiding the accumulation of fat by-products.