For over 20 years we have been advised that taking regular exercise is an essential part of any weight loss regime. But in a recent BBC TV series, ‘The Men Who Made Us Thin’, research was presented that showed that exercise has a minimal effect on weight loss.
We have generally accepted that people are over weight because they do not exercise enough. What appears to be the case now is that people who are overweight find it more difficult to take regular exercise. I have had several weight loss clients who had stopped exercising because they felt embarrassed to go to the gym or they don’t like their body in their swimming costume or they have joint or back problems.
So, if it doesn’t help you lose weight, why exercise? Because it is important for your physical, mental and emotional health. Exercise can:
√ boost your metabolism
√ help to counteract vascular damage/heart disease
√ raise your stress threshold
√ reduce obesity and the associated risk of Alzheimer’s disease
√ increase the level of your feel-good hormones and lift your mood
√ boost your immune system
√ strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
√ boost motivation
√ counteract depression
√ improve your memory
√ reduce the risk of cancer
√ improve your posture—making you look younger
If you are not already taking regular exercise start slowly and set yourself achievable exercise goals. Aim to take 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 days a week. That could be going for a brisk walk or a cycle ride or maybe just a good session of gardening.
Whatever you do more than nothing could be the difference that makes the difference to your health and wellbeing.