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Eccentric Exercises Appear To Be Effective in BMI Reduction and Glucose Tolerance

A recent study has discovered that eccentric exercises like downhill hiking appear to be effective at reducing body mass index or BMI and inflammation, as well as pose benefits for glucose tolerance.

Eccentric Exercises Appear To Be Effective in BMI Reduction and Glucose Tolerance
Photo: Downhill Hiking | InStyleHealth

What Are Eccentric Exercises?

Eccentric exercises are defined as slow, muscle-lengthening contractions that are for a specific muscle area. Eccentric strength refers to tension being applied to a muscle as it lengthens, when the muscle’s force-producing capacity is most optimal. Eccentric exercise results in less oxygen consumption, greater force production, and less energy expenditure.

Eccentric exercises are repetitively doing eccentric muscle contractions. For example, in a biceps curl the action of lowering the dumbbell back down from slowly rather than letting it drop. Eccentric exercises are an important and often overlooked component of strength training.

These eccentric exercises are characterized by the lengthening of the muscle-tendon complex, show several unique features compared with other types of contractions, which may lead to unique variations. Because of its specific properties both physiological and mechanical, there is an increasing attention in utilizing eccentric muscle work for clinical purposes and for rehabilitation.

But, uncommon eccentric exercise is known to trigger muscle damage and delayed pain, known as “Delayed-Onset Muscular Soreness” or DOMS. Currently, the most beneficial strategy to avoid these undesirable effects consists of repeating sessions involving submaximal eccentric contractions whose intensity is progressively raised over the training duration.

Regardless of an increased number of research concentrating on the eccentric contraction, a significant gap still remains in the knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the initial damage response and subsequent variations to eccentric exercises.

Research covered 127 healthy sedentary individuals who were assigned to either an active group, which was requested to walk downhill through a predetermined route 3 to 5 times a week for 2 months, or a matched control group who remained sedentary.

Compliance in the active group was good, with a median weekly frequency of walking of 3.2; average exercise duration was 40 minutes. There was no significant changes in intake of energy, fat, and carbohydrates were observed in either group.

The eccentric exercise led to a significant decrease in the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, as did fasting glucose. No such significant reductions were observed in controls. Furthermore, fasting insulin levels were lowered in the intervention group with borderline significance, while controls saw a significant increase.

Significant impacts were also observed on postprandial metabolism, where walking downhill significantly improved glucose and triglyceride tolerance; no such effects were noted in the control group.

Even though no changes in the diet, body mass index or BMI was significantly reduced in the eccentric exercise group, so was the level of C-reactive protein.

According to researchers that insulin sensitivity, glucose, and lipid metabolism, and markers of inflammation, as well as body weight, are significantly improved by a simple and practically feasible exercise regimen. At a time when lowering triglycerides and inflammatory markers gain renewed therapeutic interest, the available data are encouraging for primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.


Source: Sci Rep 2021;11:14503

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