What is better: Weight Loss or Exercise?

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What is better: Weight Loss or Exercise?


Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

There is no question on our global problem of obesity and with this there is a never-ending number of diets and tips on how to lose weight.  But is this really where our focus needs to be in order to reduce our health risks?

According to a review article published on Sep 20th in the journal of iScience, when it comes to getting healthy, then increasing physical activity and improving fitness is way more important than weight loss, especially if you are doing a lot of the yo-yo dieting.

Glenn Gaesser of the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University said: “We realize that in a weight-obsessed culture, it may be challenging for programs that ar3 not focused on weight loss to gain traction.  We’re not necessarily against weight loss; we just think that it shouldn’t be the primary criterion for judging the success for a lifestyle intervention program.”

Obesity is associated with a number of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes cancer and problems with joints and hormones.  But the yo-yo dieting is also associated with health problems including muscle loss, fatty liver disease and diabetes.

Fitness in the other hand, avoids all the health risks associated with yo-yo dieting.  Fitness is more important than weight loss in terms of hormonal balance, reducing mortality risk, and in reducing risks for cardiovascular disease (heart attack and strokes).

So how much should you be exercising?

Current health guidelines recommend adults to do 150-300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise (like a brisk walk) OR 75 to 100 minutes per week of vigorously-intensity exercise (like jogging and running).

This amount of exercise can be divided into multiple short walks during the day (for example 2 15 min. walks or jogs per day.

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