Acute exercise improves postprandial cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals

Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jan;214(1):178-84. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.10.015. Epub 2010 Oct 20.


Objectives: The effects of 30 min of exercise on postprandial lipaemia in the overweight and obese are unknown as previous studies have only investigated bouts of at least 60 min in lean, healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a single 30-min bout of resistance, aerobic or combined exercise at moderate-intensity would decrease postprandial lipaemia, glucose and insulin levels as well as increase resting energy expenditure and increase fat oxidation following a high fat meal consumed 14 h after the exercise bout, in overweight and obese individuals compared to no exercise. We also compared the effects of the different exercise modalities.

Methods: This study was a randomized cross-over design which examined the postprandial effects of 30 min of different types of exercise in the evening prior to a breakfast meal in overweight and obese men and women. Participants were randomized on four occasions, each one-week apart, to each condition; either no exercise, aerobic exercise, resistance exercise or a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance exercise.

Results: An acute bout of combination training did not have any significant effect on postprandial measurements compared to no exercise. However, aerobic exercise significantly reduced postprandial triglyceride levels by 8% compared to no exercise (p=0.02) and resistance exercise decreased postprandial insulin levels by 30% compared to aerobic exercise (p=0.01).

Conclusion: These results indicate that a single moderate-intensity 30 min bout of aerobic or resistance exercise improves risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese individuals.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Overweight / blood*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides