How Exercise Can Help Improve Fatty Liver

Treadmill Running for fatty liver

By Simon Gould

Note – It’s important you know the reason for getting fatty liver disease. Some medications can affect the liver amongst other causes. You need to talk through with a health care professional what the reasons could be. Stopping the cause is the first step and then you can treat the fatty liver.

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a build up of fat deposits on the liver. This can occur for a number of reasons. The early stages do not cause harm but you should take steps to treat the problem while you still can. While the liver can heal itself, it can’t once it reaches a late stage such as cirrhosis (very rare with NAFLD).

Treatment options

There’s no medication that can treat NAFLD but if you have other associated problems, treating them will help. This is why it’s important to help identify the reasons you are at risk. So you may be given medicines for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes. You will also be advised to make lifestyle changes.

If you smoke, then stopping will help. Stop drinking or cut down on alcohol because it could make it worse. If you are overweight then you need to lose weight. Eating healthy is helpful and exercise. Exercise is one of the most helpful things you can do. Exercise burns fat and that includes fat in the liver. This is especially the case if you’re overweight.

The research on exercise

Physical fitness can mean aerobic exercise or anaerobic (strength and resistance) exercise. They can both help. This extensive research involves more than 30 scientific published journals backs the evidence that exercise helps NAFLD. This includes resistance exercise as well as aerobic. The diet is also under scrutiny in the research and it helps.

More research backs exercise. It says NAFLD is the most common chronic liver disease. And that, regardless of body weight, physical inactivity makes the problem worse. This research says that, however much weight loss occurs, resistance training is known to help treat NAFLD. All this means that exercise should be your go to, to help the problem.

Using a treadmill

A treadmill can be used by the overweight and the not so heavy. It’s perfect for doing aerobic exercise. The World Health Organization says that you should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Brisk walking on a treadmill is moderate exercise and jogging or faster is vigorous exercise.

So the overweight can brisk walk on a treadmill or you can jog or faster if you can. You can do this exercise in 10 minute chunks. Whatever you do, it may take a few weeks to work up to the exercise amount required. That’s ok, the body is designed to be able to take a slow increase of physical stress (exercise) over time.

Walking and running on a treadmill

I’ll go through some walking and running routines you can do on a treadmill. Brisk walking, as said before, is moderate exercise and this is aerobic. This means it will help your fatty liver. On a treadmill, set the speed to around 3 mph and walk for around 10 minutes. Increase the incline or run if you find it easy. You need to work up to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

Here are some routines for walking on a treadmill:

Vigorous exercise means you’re advised to do 75 minutes per week. This is 15 minutes per day, on a weekday. This is difficult to do straight away. Running for a period of time needs to be done gradually. I have devised a method of walking and running on a treadmill, till you’re running for 30 minutes. This is done over 9 weeks and is called the couch to 5k on a treadmill.

I have also made some other routines. These may be quite hard. But if you have are used to exercising, maybe worth a try:

Other lifestyle and home remedies

As per the Mayo Clinic weight loss should be your primary aim. They say you should lose 10% of your body weight, and that you’ll see some improvement at 3% to 5%. As well as getting on a treadmill you need to consume fewer calories. Eating a healthy diet makes that easier. One that includes fruits, whole grains and vegetables.

Lower your cholesterol, exercising and healthy eating helps, but you may want to get a blood test to check your levels. Certain medications, over the counter drugs and herbal remedies can affect the liver negatively. You need to monitor your blood sugar levels. You need to actively screen the level of fat in your liver on a regular basis to check it’s not getting worse, and take action if it is.


As you can see all these routines have weight loss in mind. They will all get you fit and healthy with a target of getting rid of the fat in your liver. This and a healthy diet is what is recommended. And as being overweight is a leading cause of NAFLD, the routines will help. The research is proof that exercise does you good

The good thing about the exercise you do. You will help reduce your chance of getting multiple conditions and diseases. Any research will tell you how good exercise is for your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s a lifestyle change that you need to make permanent. Whatever you do, any exercise is better than none. Just keep trying and you’ll feel all the more better for it.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

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