All that yapping you do between sets at the gym may not be that counter-productive, after all. A new study conducted by the Ohio State University Medical Center suggests there may be a connection being social and losing love handles.
That seems to be the case in mice, at least. According to the study, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism, some rodents lost half the fat around their bellies by interacting with more complex and socially stimulating environments.
The study builds on research published last year on how such enriched environments could help mice build resistance to cancer. “When we looked at those animals we noticed they were much leaner,” said Dr. Matthew During, who led the research team at OSU Medical Center. “We thought, ‘This is a little interesting.’”
Researchers rounded up two sets of identical mice for the new study. One was housed in standard pens in groups of five. The others were placed, 25 at a time, in more complex environments that contained wheels, mazes and greater opportunity for social interaction.
Researchers tracked variations in diet and physical activity. After a few weeks, the mice kept in enriched environments were leaner, even when their bored counterparts put in two to three times as much work on their running wheels. And they were more resistant to becoming obese when fed high-fat diets.
What kinds of social activities are you involved in? Do you feel like help keep you trim?
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