Despite this study being small and nearly three years old, it still has relevance when we are celebrating a holiday or anniversary. There is continuing evidence that regular, long-term exercise can help to control blood sugar levels. (Comment added July 27, 2016) During cold winter days and holiday festivities, it’s easy to consume too many calories while also not exercising. But one small study demonstrates that daily exercise may be particularly important during the holidays. For one week, a small group of healthy young men restricted their daily activities to below 4,000 steps/day and increased their caloric intake by 50%. The other group increased their calorie intake by 75% and walked/ran on a treadmill for 45 minutes/day at 70% of maximum oxygen uptake. After one week, the non-exercising group showed a significant decline in their blood sugar control, and "their fat cells were overexpressing genes linked to unhealthy metabolic changes and under-expressing genes involved in well-functioning metabolism." However, the exercising group had stable blood sugar levels and their fat cells showed less "undesirable genetic expression." SOURCE: Journal of Physiology, 591(24):6231-6243 (December 15, 2013) For the abstract, click here.