To Exercise or Not to Exercise – That is the question

NYC Marathon in 2007, Upper East Side segment
Image via Wikipedia

I was pumped. I was excited. I was ready to sign up to join New York Road Runners. Visions of me training and maybe one day, even running the NYC Marathon were flying in my head. I was going to combine my love of running with the I LOVE FOOD DIET and become the poster child for healthy living.

However my enthusiasm was quickly quelled when I repeatedly tried to enroll in NY Road Runners but could not log on. The site was experiencing “technical difficulties” and I  was prompted to “try back later”. Being that it was January 2nd, mere hours after New Years day, I figured that thousands of other fellow wanna-be-marathoners had made the same resolution to start race training and inadvertently “crashed”the website with their numerous requests to join.

As I was waiting to “try back again, I started surfing the web and came across several disturbing articles questioning the relationship between exercise and weight loss. One article in NY MAGAZINE  titled the “The Scientist and the Stairmaster” made the startling suggestion that exercise will not help you to lose weight and may in fact increase your weight gain! You heard me, according to this article, exercise may not help in weight loss!

Before you all start writing to me about the myriad of benefits of exercise, let me clarify that the article suggested that some exercises, specifically cardio exercises (not weight training) may have an adverse effect on weight loss. While you may burn as much as 350-600 calories in one hour doing cardio what may also happen is that your hunger will increase and you may very well end up consuming far more calories post workout than if they hadn’t worked at all!

Lets face it, it’s a whole lot easier NOT eating that glazed Krispy Kreme donut than it is running on the treadmill for 45 minutes to burn those  450 calories.

This is not to suggest that one should NOT work out. Au contraire, working out is imperative if you want to have a healthy heart, shapely figure and toned thighs, however just because you “sweated to the oldies” for an hour does not mean you can treat yourself to 1/2 pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

The best way to lose weight is primarily through diet and some exercise. Exercise because you WANT to. Exercise because you LIKE to. Exercise because you will FEEL GREAT afterwards. But don’t exercise just to lose weight. Without altering your eating habits all your exercise may be futile.

Chow for now!


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