Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More on Exercise and Food

It turns out my ideas about exercise aren't entirely off the mark:
Many obesity researchers now believe that very frequent, low-level physical activity — the kind humans did for tens of thousands of years before the leaf blower was invented — may actually work better for us than the occasional bouts of exercise you get as a gym rat. "You cannot sit still all day long and then have 30 minutes of exercise without producing stress on the muscles," says Hans-Rudolf Berthoud, a neurobiologist at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center who has studied nutrition for 20 years. "The muscles will ache, and you may not want to move after. But to burn calories, the muscle movements don't have to be extreme. It would be better to distribute the movements throughout the day."
A friend told me about this article yesterday and I bumped into it this morning and read the whole thing. It's ultimate conclusion is that it's your food choices and not your exercise routine that does the most for your weight. That doesn't mean you can be completely sedentary. It suggests, as the quote above notes, that we should just all move around more within our daily activities rather than scheduling a trip to the gym. That's something that's easy to incorporate for many people. I can walk or ride my bike to many places instead of driving. And most people can. Even parking far away from entrances and taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make you healthier. Things people have said all along, but which now makes a lot more sense.