Whether you enjoy a daily walk or prefer high-intensity sprints, it’s well known that exercising regularly can improve your overall health. No matter how you choose to get a sweat session in, a new study conducted by researchers from Western Sydney University found that working out daily can prevent liver disease. The study authors discovered that not only does moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) improve liver health, but short and more intense exercises work, as well.

High-intensity exercise can reduce the risk of liver diseases

To obtain their findings, researchers reviewed over 28,000 previous studies related to the connection between exercise and liver health. The study authors chose to focus on 19 specific studies out of the thousands, which involved 745 people. Studies examined liver fat levels using non-invasive measurement techniques, such as proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They found that regular aerobic exercise reduced liver fat levels by 3.14 percent, while high-intensity training lead to a liver fat reduction of 2.85 percent.

high intensity workout
Credit: Victor Freitas/Unspalsh

The results show that regular exercise can help people diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is one of the most common liver diseases in the world. The condition, which affects up to three in 10 people, occurs when excess fat builds up in a patient’s liver and is not linked to drinking alcohol in excess. “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a predictor of metabolic disorders, closely linked to the development and severity of various diseases such as type 2 diabetes,” adds lead author Dr Angelo Sabag in a statement.

Study researchers note that long, draining workout sessions aren’t the end-all, be-all for improving health — shorter sessions of high-intensity exercise followed by rest periods are also effective. “Our review demonstrates the importance of regular aerobic exercise as an effective therapy in those at risk, with both HIIT and MICT found to improve liver fat to similar degrees,” Sabag says. “It is useful information to know that by training harder in less time with HIIT, you can achieve the same results as MICT, which is ideal for those with a busy lifestyle and little time.”

This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com

(Main and Feature Image Credit: Lyndon Stratford / Getty Images)

© 2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Licensed from MarthaStewart.com and published with permission of Meredith Corporation. Reproduction in any manner in any language in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited.

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