Weight Loss Exercise

By December 30, 2019exercise, weight loss

For those considering starting exercise, try looking beyond weight loss for motivation. No matter your weight, there are always benefits to exercise.

Exercise actually does a pretty poor job of getting us to expend enough excess energy to lose weight. This is partly due to a compensatory effect of our appetite, which increases after we exercise.

Exercise changes our body composition – how much fat we have as a ratio to how much lean (muscle) tissue we have – but this doesn’t always cause big changes on the scales.

Here are some ways exercise improves our health, no matter how much we weigh:

Better cardiorespiratory fitness with less Weight

Cardiorespiratory fitness is a measure of how far and hard you can run without needing to stop, or how many stairs you can climb without being out of breath. Running for longer, or climbing more stairs, means you have a higher absolute cardiorespiratory fitness which cannot be improved with weight loss alone.

Lowered risk of heart disease and stroke

Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, even in those with a chronic disease such as diabetes, irrespective of body fatness.

Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, improves delivery of blood throughout the body, and reduces inflammation, even in those with a high body mass index.

Reducing the ‘bad’ fat

Exercise improves our body’s ability to use energy. We store large amounts of energy as fat, which is quite hard to break down, as it costs a lot of oxygen compared to “cheaper” fuels for the body to use like glucose.

But when we exercise regularly, we increase our body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source as well as requiring more energy at rest.

Mental health benefits

Research has consistently shown that people who exercise (regardless of body size and shape) have better mental health and lower levels of stress, depression and emotional problems.

Preventing weight gain

While exercise may not help us lose a lot of weight on the scales, it’s a good way to keep weight off and prevent weight regain.

Regular exercise continues to encourage the body to use stored fuels and remodel tissues (such as muscle) to grow healthier and stronger.

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