خميس, 02/14/2013

Excercise as Means to Loose Weight and Shape the Body

Although in most parts of Europe it is still winter and the most imperative concern for most people is not to catch a cold or the flu or to get rid of it as soon as possible, days are getting longer and it is time to think about fitness again. Sure, most people do not pause even during winter. They either go to the gym or go skiing. Other are fortunate and live in a warmer or moderate climate which allows outdoor activities even in winter. But somehow when the end of winter is coming closer it is time to give exercise some new thoughts.

And! Not to forget, the Berlin Half Marathon is not that far away. It will take place on April 7th and even for the untrained there is enough time to get fit enough to run it within an acceptable time.

But in this blogpost I do not want to talk about how to get fitter. I want to talk about exercise as a means to lose weight. Fitness will come automatically. But always remember: the body clings to every calorie and actually it is not you but your brain that decides how much you eat. And the brain likes to play tricks on you: Either it makes you think that you can have a pizza, ice-cream or some chocolate as a reward for your exercise or it allows you to feel good because you resist it. But at the very next day, without knowing, you eat a little bit more and then you are where you started without even knowing it. You just wonder why nothing happens.

A new study suggests that it is better to go out running if you want to burn fat. The results show that aerobic workouts are better than resistance training to reduce fat mass. But the findings don't mean that resistance training is not useful. The study found that lifting weights was better at increasing lean body mass than aerobic training alone. And for older adults who are experiencing muscle loss, resistance training is beneficial, the researchers said. Young, healthy adults on the other side who want to lose weight, aerobic training will be sufficient. Interesting enough another study shows that teens are keen in building muscle mass. To achieve that goal many use protein supplements, some even steroids or other stuff like creatine. But that's not all youngsters do to build muscle. About 68 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls admitted that they had altered their eating habits, and 91 percent of boys and 80 percent of girls said they had increased the amount of exercise they did. Although these last two changes could be potentially healthy, it is not clear whether the teenagers know how to do this in a healthy way and involuntarily do more harm than good instead. The study also suggests that teens do not work out for health reasons but just to look better. Since one does not exclude the other it is imperative to learn how to work out in a healthy, beneficial way.

But studies and individual reality sometimes do not agree. Dr. Tyeese Gaines wrote about how she tried to get rid of the additional weight she gained during pregnancy: “Soon, I cut back on cardio classes until I was predominately lifting. My weight went up, numerically, at first, as muscle formed. But, then inches and pounds fell off quickly, and I could recognize myself again.” The reason is that when you lift weights, your metabolism increases which means your muscles not only burn more calories but to continue to burn them even after the workout is finished. The point is that muscles need energy to grow and stay the way they are. And so it happens that we actually have two concurring views: Weightlifting can burn more body fat than cardio exercises, says Christopher B. Scott, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Exercise, Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Southern Maine, in Dr. Tyeese Gaines article.

Having some pounds too many on your waist line might interfere with your body image but might even be better for your overall wellbeing as only having muscles and bones. Real obesity, meaning being fat, is more of a challenge here because it actually makes you sick. Especially visceral fat, the type of fat that surrounds internal organs, were found to be at significantly responsible of developing diabetes, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Being overweight or obese is one of the biggest risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes which is treated at the hospitals of PGD International. Subcutaneous fat, that are the rings around your body, also known as love handles, are not that dangerous. Although if you have too much of it, it affects your overall wellbeing and it is a strain to your knees and other bodyparts.

So, one problem of being overweight is eating too much. Another study found that moderate intensity aerobic training could actually decrease your appetite or increase your feelings of fullness or satiety. Although this sounds like nonsense – everybody knows that exercise makes hungry – it seems to be true. But unfortunately you normally do not feel the effect because exercise only makes you less hungry. That means because you are still sort of hungry you eat as much as ever. And not to in this case is just an act of sheer will power.

As winter goes and spring is not that far away, the question arises whether outdoor excercise might have a positive effect. Well, for this I found a study too. Interesting enough some researchers suggest that the positive effects of green exercise which boost mood, self-esteem, motivation and enjoyment may have more to do with the color green than with being surrounded by nature. That might be true. When running I especially enjoy the part when I run through the woods and the sun shines through the green leaves of the trees. And since this just looks spectacular it is motivation enough to run there to experience it again and again!

Finally I would like to share another thought I stumbled upon and which could be a nice additionally benefit to all this sweating, weight lifting and running: Can exercise detox? Well, nobody knows. If your are interested in the actual status quo of the discussion go to this page. But the rule of thumb, which is stated in the article, is: a healthy lifestyle - eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and exercising - is important to detoxifying because it enables our body to do what is intended to do. And another thing to remember is: the actual act of an active life-style is the thing that keeps you healthy – even if being a bit overweight.

So - stay healthy! And if anything unexpectedly goes wrong you know where to find us.