Exercise Training, Without Weight Loss, Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Postheparin Plasma Lipase Activity in Previously Sedentary Adults

  1. Glen E. Duncan, PHD, RCEPSM1,
  2. Michael G. Perri, PHD2,
  3. Douglas W. Theriaque, MS3,
  4. Alan D. Hutson, PHD4,
  5. Robert H. Eckel, MD5 and
  6. Peter W. Stacpoole, PHD, MD16
  1. 1Department of Medicine (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism), University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  2. 2Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  3. 3General Clinical Research Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  4. 4Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  5. 5Department of Medicine (Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes), University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado
  6. 6Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida


    OBJECTIVE—To determine the effects of exercise, without weight loss, on insulin sensitivity (SI), postheparin plasma lipase activity (PHPL), intravenous fat clearance rate (K2), and fasting lipids in sedentary adults.

    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—At baseline and after 6 months of walk training (intensity 45–55 or 65–75% heart rate reserve, frequency 3–4 or 5–7 days/week, duration 30 min/session), anthropometric indexes, SI, PHPL, K2, and fasting lipids were measured in 18 sedentary adults (12 women, 6 men; 51.9 ± 5.8 years of age, BMI 28.9 ± 4.6 kg/m2).

    RESULTS—Exercise increased SI (2.54 ± 2.74 vs. 4.41 ± 3.30 μU · ml−1 · min−1, P < 0.005) and both lipoprotein lipase (LPL) (1,890 ± 1,380 vs. 4,926 ± 1,858 nEq free fatty acid [FFA] · ml−1 · h−1) and hepatic lipase (HL) activities (3,326 ± 1,605 vs. 4,636 ± 1,636 nEq FFA · ml−1 · h−1) (both P < 0.001), without altering BMI, waist circumference, K2, or fasting lipids. Correlations between changes in LPL and the total:HDL cholesterol ratio (r = −0.54) and changes in the LPL:HL ratio and waist circumference (r = −0.50) were significant (P < 0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS—Exercise, without weight loss, increases SI and PHPL activity in previously sedentary adults, without changing K2 or fasting lipid levels. Furthermore, increased LPL is associated with a decreased total:HDL ratio, and an increased LPL:HL ratio is associated with a decreased waist circumference. Therefore, even modest amounts of exercise in the absence of weight loss positively affect markers of glucose and fat metabolism in previously sedentary, middle-aged adults.


    • Address correspondence and reprint requests to Glen E. Duncan, PhD, RCEPSM, Box 100226 JHMHSC, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0226. E-mail: gduncan{at}ufl.edu.

      Received for publication 18 August 2002 and accepted in revised form 17 October 2002.

      A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

      See accompanying editorial, p. 944.

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