Monday, September 14, 2009

Keep Pedaling!

“As a nation, we are obviously getting fatter and fatter. Yet we seem ever more confused about how to lose weight. We’re particularly fuzzy on the question of how big a role exercise plays, or whether we just have to count calories. So here’s the deal. Yes, you can count calories or weigh yourself every day. If your weight is up today compared with yesterday, you probably ate more calories than you burned. If it’s less, you burned more than you ate - provided you didn’t drink gallons of liquid the day before, throwing the scale off. It comes down to simple arithmetic, and you’ve heard it before: Calories in, calories out. You will absolutely, inevitably gain weight if you eat more calories than you expend in basic metabolism - breathing, digesting, sleeping, etc. - plus whatever else you do, such as chasing the kids around, walking, vacuuming, or going to the gym. [...] So, if it takes an awful lot of exercise to make a dent in the calories in-out equation, is exercise pointless? No way. It’s essential for good health. Regular physical exercise reduces the risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression, according to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Moreover, even if exercise doesn’t help much in the battle to lose weight, it is essential to maintain weight loss, says Dr. Timothy Church, director of Preventive Medicine Research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. ‘This whole thing is not rocket science,’ he says. ‘You can take weight off through a whole variety of strategies. But people don’t lose weight and keep it off unless they are physically active. There are tons and tons of studies on this.’”

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