Newswise — Rockville, Md. (November 9, 2020)—People who exercise by walking at their own pace burn fat most efficiently, according to researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. The findings will be presented virtually at the American Physiological Society (APS) Integrative Physiology of Exercise conference.

The research team conducted their study in humans to determine the best method to oxidize fat. Findings indicate self-chosen walking paces provide the greatest contribution of lipid (fat)-to-energy production per distance covered compared to imposed walking paces. More than 145 million adults in the U.S. include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The scientists conducted this study because exercise prescription does not appeal to people as it constrains them into a strict schedule and doesn’t offer tangible benefits right away. “Our outcomes show that in order to optimize fat oxidation as a source of energy, it does not require a complex and constraining exercise training program,” said Fabien Basset, PhD, the corresponding author for this study.

The data bolster the premise that walking daily at a self-chosen pace should, over the long term, lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and more.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The APS Integrative Physiology of Exercise will be held November 9–13 on a virtual platform. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact the APS Communications Office or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in the APS Newsroom.

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.