A new study conducted by Japanese researchers finds that chewing gum while walking may help people lose weight and stay slim.
The study also indicates that older men who exercise this way use up more energy compared to those from different age groups.
In the new study, the researchers, led by scientist Yuka Hamada from the Waseda University in Japan, conducted an experiment in which 46 individuals between the ages of 21 and 69 were given two pellets of gum to chew while walking for 15 minutes. Another experiment involved participants consuming or ingesting, instead of chewing, a powdered form of gum before going for a 15-minute walk.
Based on these trials, the researchers tried to measure the participants' heart rates in their legs while they were resting and walking. They also measured their speed, the number of steps they took, and the distance they managed to cover.
The Benefits Of Chewing Gum While Walking
The researchers found that the heart rates of the people who chewed gum while walking went up by several beats per minute. Also, the increase was more noticeable in the male participants who are over the age of 40.
The researchers concluded that people who chew gum while walking used up more energy than those who walk and do not chew. Older men, in particular, use up more energy than those from other age groups.
In other words, chewing gum while walking can increase the physiological and physical functions of people, specifically the middle-aged and elderly men. The explanation for this, according to the researchers, could be related to the synchronization effects between cardiac and locomotor rhythms.
The study called "The effects of gum chewing while walking on physical and physiological functions" was recently presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria. It was published online in the journal Physical Therapy Science.
A previous study published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine way back in 1999 also came to a rather similar conclusion about the effects of chewing gum on the physiological function. This study found that seated people who chew gum expended 19 percent more energy than non-chewers.
According to the authors of the same study, if people did nothing at all but chew gum every day for a whole year, they may lose 11 pounds or nearly 5 kilograms.
What's more, other studies have discovered that gum chewing may also help people cope with stress by reducing the amount of cortisol in their blood. Cortisol is often called the "stress hormone" because of its connection to the stress response.