Sunday, August 09, 2009

Exercise makes you fat?

First the bad news - what exercise doesn't do according to Time Magazine:

Could pushing people to exercise more actually be contributing to our obesity problem? In some respects, yes. Because exercise depletes not just the body's muscles but the brain's self-control "muscle" as well, many of us will feel greater entitlement to eat a bag of chips during that lazy time after we get back from the gym.
What it does:
In addition to enhancing heart health and helping prevent disease, exercise improves your mental health and cognitive ability. A study published in June in the journal Neurology found that older people who exercise at least once a week are 30% more likely to maintain cognitive function than those who exercise less. Another study, released by the University of Alberta a few weeks ago, found that people with chronic back pain who exercise four days a week have 36% less disability than those who exercise only two or three days a week.
Here's my bias: I'm pleased to say that I've lost nearly 2" of my waist and 20 lbs (now at 163 lbs) in the last 18 months to the point that I've gotten some definition in my abs for the first time since I was 12. Of course the study probably explains why most of those losses have come from being in China where foraging for food is substantially less convenient and I worked out hard for about an hour a day. Coming back, a recent strategy I've adopted is to drink more water and eat more meals (but less at each meal) to quench my appetite and I think it's working.

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