Friday, April 22, 2011

what a crock

More than 45 million Americans now belong to a health club, up from 23 million in 1993. We spend some $19 billion a year on gym memberships. major study — the Minnesota Heart Survey — found, more of us at least say we exercise regularly. The survey ran from 1980, when only 47% of respondents said they engaged in regular exercise, to 2000, when the figure had grown to 57%.

And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period: a third of Americans are obese, and another third count as overweight by the Federal Government's definition. Yes, it's entirely possible that those of us who regularly go to the gym would weigh even more if we exercised less. But like many other people, I get hungry after I exercise, so I often eat more on the days I work out than on the days I don't. Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight? Time Magazine

I found the link to this article at Why Homeschool and it kept nagging at me for the past few days. Yes, if someone works out for 30 minutes a day they could theoretically not lose any weight because of increased hunger and an entitlement attitude, "I exercised so I can indulge in this McMuffin with cheese." But after running for several years and resuming my running this past year, I promise that if you push a little further than just doing the stair climber for 20 minutes you will lose weight.

In training for my half-marathon I have lost almost 10 pounds in the past month and my cravings for sweets was more easily controlled than when I was only running 4-5 miles a day. I took it seriously and after reading numerous books in the past few months about women who lost some serious poundage, including the first female Biggest Loser winner, found that they really counted every calorie, and exercised a lot more than taking an aerobics class at the YMCA.

As for the obesity rate, that seems to be an entire different class of citizen than those who attempt to stay in shape. The majority of obese aren't doing much more than pushing the grocery cart around the store and filling it with soda, candy, meat, snack cakes, and ice cream.     

Go to any serious athletic event: dance competition, soccer match, or running race and you won't find many overweight competitors. Exercise does help you lose weight, you just have to put in more than the minimal effort and practice some self control.  

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