Craving a fatty meal? Have a quick workout first

HIIT exercise before a fatty meal can reduce the negative impact on your health. Photo: Getty
HIIT exercise before a fatty meal can reduce the negative impact on your health. Photo: Getty

Sometimes it’s hard to resist the pull of a delicious burger but the good news is a quick exercise session beforehand may help offset negative effects on your health.

A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that a short burst of high-intensity exercise before a high-fat meal can yield better blood vessel function in young people.

Researchers from the University of Exeter compared the effect of high-intensity, interval exercise and moderate-intensity exercise on blood vessel function in teenagers after they had consumed a high-fat milkshake. Previous research has shown that exercise can offset the effects of a fatty meal, but this is the first time the best type of exercise has been distinguished.

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The results revealed that around 25 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling helped stop a fall in blood vessel function after the meal. Eight minutes of high-intensity cycling not only prevented fall, blood vessel function was improved to a higher level than moderate-intensity exercise.

“Our study shows that the intensity of exercise plays an important part in protecting blood vessel function in young people after the digestion of a high-fat meal,” said study author Dr Alan Barker.

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“Considering that very few adolescents currently achieve the recommended minimum of one hour of at least moderate-intensity exercise per day, smaller amounts of exercise performed at a higher-intensity might offer an attractive alternative to improve blood vessel function.”

Bottom line: you may be better off doing a tougher workout for a shorter time, than nothing at all. Your heart and your fitness will thank you for it.


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