Health Notes: Interval training best for fat burn, exercise has no effect on breast milk

In this installment of Health Notes, SNEWS brings you studies that show interval training is best for burning dangerous belly fat and exercise has no detrimental effects on breast milk.

You want the latest information about health, physical activity, exercise and wellness, but perhaps you'd rather not wade through the techno-science garble that makes most reports hard to read, let alone understand or pass on to customers. In SNEWS Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent research that is pertinent to your business and explain it in a way that makes sense. If you have suggestions or comments, let us know by emailing

>>Interval training better for fat loss, study shows

Take your pick: Jog for seven hours or sprint for 60. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Obesity, sprinting for 60 minutes is much better than suffering through a seven-hour jog in terms of burning calories and harmful belly fat.

The study, conducted in Sydney, Australia with 46 inactive men, found that eight-second bursts of sprinting on an exercise bike, followed by 12 seconds of recovery, for 20 minutes led overweight men in the exercise to lose four pounds of belly fat in the 12-week study.

The study, which was supported by Diabetes Australia, concluded that regular aerobic exercise doesn’t necessarily lead to a gain in muscle mass, whereas vigorous bursts of energy could increase muscle mass, typically by 1.2 kilograms.

Plus, the study showed that among those in the exercise group, there was a 17 percent reduction in fat stored around organs associated with cardiovascular health like the liver and kidneys.

>>So what? Given that about two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a higher concern for health and well-being might drive more people into your stores. Giving them tools to see faster results, such as suggesting interval training, could keep them hooked on exercise, and hooked on buying stuff from you.

>>For the scientifically minded: Both the abstract and full article can be found here.

>>Exercise has no detrimental effect on breast milk

Seems like new mothers are in a position of increased scrutiny from everybody in society on how they are raising their new young. For many years, it was thought that new mothers shouldn’t engage in exercise because it would release toxins into their breast milk that would slow their baby’s growth.

According to a new article released in the July issue of Pediatrics, that's not true. The study analyzed the findings from four separate clinical trials conducted between 1994 and 2009 of 170 new mothers, and concluded that exercise does not change the composition of breast milk in a way that could harm the baby. The mothers in each clinical trial initially were sedentary, and then were assigned to a control group that didn’t exercise and another group that engaged in a moderate exercise routine.

While the study concluded it would be fine, even beneficial for both mama and baby, for new mothers to exercise, it suggested women should clear it with their doctors, not overdo it and hydrate properly when exercising and breastfeeding.

>>So what? New mothers are often dying to get back into pre-baby shape, and with news that it’s OK to breast-feed and workout, you may want to know what types of products would be good for new mothers and brush up on how to sell them.

>>For the scientifically minded: Find the article abstract here, and the full article here.