People who exercise a lot may not burn more calories than those who exercise moderately, because the body likely adapts to higher levels of physical activity, according to a new study.
The results of the study showed that the participants with moderate levels of physical activity burned approximately two hundred more calories each day (on average), compared with those who did not engage in a lot of physical activity.
Despite working out more, the people with the highest levels of physical activity still burned roughly the same number of calories as the individuals who were moderately active, the researchers said.
Herman Pontzer, author of the study and an associate professor of anthropology at the City University of New York, said that even though it is not entirely clear why higher levels of physical activity may not help burn more calories, people should still exercise because it is important for a good health.
According to Pontzer, since more exercise does not necessarily mean more calories being burned, it means that the body is adapting to higher levels of physical activity to maintain the same energy expenditure. To help them lose weight, people should also focus on their diet, Pontzer said.
In the new study – published Thursday (Jan. 28) in the journal Current Biology – the researchers analysed the levels of physical activity and number of calories burned in a little over three hundred people ages 25 to 45; the analysis took place over the course of one week. The study participants lived in the United States, South Africa, Ghana, Jamaica, and Seychelles.
The only big difference occurred when the researchers compared people with sedentary lifestyles to those with moderate levels of activity: individuals who mere moderately active burned 200 more calories per day.
A previous study was conducted on a group of traditional hunter-gathers from Tanzania called the Hadza. The researchers evaluated the link between activity levels and energy expenditure.
Even though the Hadza had high physical levels – they did a lot of hard physical works and walked long distances each day – their energy expenditure was similar to more sedentary people living modernized lifestyles, Pontzer explained.
The new findings may indicate that exercising too much could cause body to make some adjustments to adapt, according to the researchers.
Image Source: gcfit360