University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbour, who led the study, say that an abnormal metabolism leads to the accumulation of fat by-products inside the muscle, affecting insulin resistance that is very necessary for reducing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
The researchers say that the build up of fat by-products can be avoided if fat is stored in muscle or burnt, as happens when an individual exercises.
For examining the effect of exercise on fat accumulation, the researchers divided their study into two parts.
In one session, the women participants overate and did not exercise; while in the second session, the participants overate and did exercise.
The researchers observed that just one session of exercise increased the rate of fat-burning oxidation, as well as the amount of fat that would eventually be stored in the muscle.
They say that their findings suggest that even one bout of exercise helps to reduce the fat by-products inside the muscle, which affects the insulin sensitivity.
The findings also suggest that a single session of exercise "steers" muscle fat towards oxidation, thereby avoiding the accumulation of fat by-products, they add.
"Exercise decreases everyone's insulin resistance and therefore reduces the chances of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes. This study shows that even a single bout of exercise helps obese individuals increase their body's fat-burning rate and improve their metabolic health," says Andrea Cornford, a member of the research team.
The research was presented at a meeting sponsored by the American Physiological Society, The Integrative Biology of Exercise V.