Monday, January 25, 2010

exercise and weight loss redux

this is a follow-up to a post from several months ago regarding exercise and weight loss:
the prior post dealt with my take on media reports of studies suggesting that exercise doesn't help you lose weight. my take was--and is--that the media reports had the wrong interpretation of the research, and that people should understand that weight loss is not a function of exercise alone, but rather a function of a number of variables: basic physics (energy output from your daily living v. energy input from your food intake), nutrition (the composition of your food intake), and lifestyle (the nature of activity in duration and intensity comprising your daily living, whether it be via exercise or the mundane routine).

one thing i didn't mention in the prior post is that we need to apply caution in associating exercise with weight loss. this is because there are different objectives for exercise, not all of which relate to weight loss. for athletes, in particular, exercise is a component of a training regimen aimed for the purpose of achieving superior physical performance in a specific sport--and sometimes this means losing weight, sometimes it means gaining weight, sometimes it means nothing regarding weight at all.

as a result, a person with the goal of greater performance won't approach exercise with the same mindset or method as a person with the goal of weight loss. rather, a person with the primary goal of weight loss will have to modify the nature of exercise to enable their objective. even then, how they employ exercise will depend on what kind of weight loss they want, with weight loss in the form of overall body mass entailing a different exercise regime than weight loss in the form of lower body fat percentage.

and even with all this, i still go back to my comments in the previous post: exercise won't do it alone. to really get results--any results, whether for physical performance, weight loss in overall body mass, weight loss in lower body fat percentage, etc., that extend on a substantive, long-term basis--requires a comprehensive scheme encompassing the overall lifestyle inclusive of exercise and nutrition.

i didn't go into too much detail then regarding just what this means. i figured i'd written enough in other posts here to deal with the more general aspects of the issues (reference: ). that, and i also figured that i just don't have the level of expertise to go into rigorous explanation of the details, and hoped that people would be able to find it on their own.

well, i think i've come across something that may rectify the shortfall in my work, and which may save everyone a good amount of work in finding the details for themselves. check these links out:
this is, without question, some of the best discussions regarding exercise and weight loss i've come across. it's from a blog called Science of Sport, run by 2 sports scientists. i like these pieces because they give a very clear breakdown of the nature of exercise to the body, and provide the details of everything i've been telling people regarding the relationship between exercise and weight loss. and they also indicate what i've said here: that exercise can have different purposes which may or may not include weight loss, and so must be approached with an understanding of how exercise can be adjusted to fulfill those respective purposes.

if you have the interest and the time, i definitely recommend you take a look.

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