Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study of 24 healthy women but obese women who had a body-mass index (BMI) of between 30 and nearly 35.
They used a device to cool the women's hand in an effort to see if they would exercises longer.
Stacy Sims, a research scientist and exercise physiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, "wanted to see if cooling off the hands of the women she studied might help them overcome fatigue and overheating while exercising," according to MSN.com
"On the first day and last day of the study, the women did a 1.5-mile walk that was timed. The cooling group shaved more than five minutes off their time for the 1.5 mile treadmill test. They averaged 31.6 minutes at the start and 24.6 minutes at the end," MSN goes on to report.
"Their exercising heart rate went up, too, 136 beats per minute to 154 beats per minute -- a good thing. The cooling group also took more than two inches off their waist by end of the 12-week study. That improves not only appearance, but health, since big waists are linked with heart disease. Their blood pressure also went down, from 139/84 to 124/70. (Below 120/80 is the goal.)"
If you think about adipose [fat] tissue, it's a great insulator," Sims said. "It would be like Lance Armstrong wearing a wet suit for the entire Tour de France," she added. "We're trying to address those barriers."
The other interesting finding?
The cooling group also ended up exercising more, "The controls dropped out early, and skipped a lot of sessions," Sims said.