Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Dirty Little Secret of Exercise

Lose Big with Jillian Michaels
Moderate exercise may be good for your health, but if you're exercising to lose weight, you could be in for a big disappointment. TIME magazine reports that obesity experts agree that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week is not enough to make a real difference in body weight.

Here's the dirty little secret of exercise: If you want that workout on the treadmill or in the pool to result in weight loss, you had better keep at it for at least an hour a day, according to a study from the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

The study: Led by John Jakicic, the team followed about 200 overweight or obese women ages 21 to 45 during a weight loss program that lasted two years. Average body weight was 193 pounds. Each participant was given a free treadmill to use at home, as well as regular group meetings and telephone pep talks. They were told to eat between 1,200 and 1,500 calories a day. Each person was randomly assigned to one of these four exercise groups:
--Burn 1,000 calories a week through high exercise intensity.
--Burn 1,000 calories a week through low exercise intensity.
--Burn 2,000 calories a week through high exercise intensity.
--Burn 2,000 calories a week through low exercise intensity.

The results: More than half the women lost at least 10 percent of their body weight in the first six months; but six months after that, most had relapsed and started gaining the weight back. The women who were able to successfully keep the weight off for two years exercised twice as long as the typical recommendation of 30 minutes a day most days a week. They expended more than twice as many calories as the women who weren't able to lose weight.

How much exercise is needed? Those who lost the most weight exercised on average 68 minutes a day, five days a week. That was about 55 minutes a day more than they had been exercising before the study so they burned an extra 1,848 calories a week. Although exercise was more strongly associated with weight loss than any other factor, including diet, it only worked when the women exercised an hour or more a day. The study findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
source: Netscape.com

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