Thursday, January 26, 2012

Despite how it sounds, brown fat is a runner's friend

Yesterday's workout (treadmill): 25 minutes
Today's workout (elliptical): 26 minutes

I've never understood why it's so hard to use fat as an energy source. Everyone knows that people burn calories at a specific rate and that most of what isn't used gets stored as fat. Unfortunately, this fat isn't (metaphorically) shelved and ready for use as soon as our bodies need a boost. It requires a lot of physical change to access these stores. An article in the Tuesday NY Times talks about brown fat, which our bodies can efficiently access and burn.

The article makes a number of points, including the interesting fact that when a person is cold, their body will convert our excess white fat to brown fat. The more brown fat we have, the more fuel we have to burn at the ready. It's funny, but I've bundled up less on my commute since I read that article. Just think, next time you are standing in the miserable cold, you can take solace in the fact that you are converting your unhealthy fat into a performance enhancing form.


  1. When I read the title of your post I thought you were referring to something else. Now I know the rest of the story.

  2. I can't imagine what you mean but here's to something good about fat!


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