Just a Little Activity Helps Severely Obese Get the Benefits of Exercise

Saturday, August 5, 2017 Exercise  No comments

 Activity Helps Severely Obese

Activity Helps Severely Obese

Just a Little Activity Helps Severely Obese Get the Benefits of Exercise

You’ve heard time and time again how good exercise is for you… but if you’re carrying a few extra pounds working out like a maniac isn’t something you’re probably comfortable doing. Thankfully new research says that you don’t have to work up a sweat to get the benefits of exercise.

You see, the study presented at the Obesity Society annual scientific meeting in early October found that even a little bit of exercise – 1 hour a week – delivers an improvement in quality of life and makes everyday tasks easier for severely obese people. Even those who think they’re past caring (or helping) should be encouraged to get active according to the results of this study.

“This study speaks to the importance of people who are overweight, even severely overweight, paying attention to the fact that increasing their activity even a little bit can make their day to day life better,” says Dr. Martin Binks, research director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, a residential weight loss program at Duke University Medical Center.

Founded in 1969, the Duke Diet and Fitness Center is one of America’s longest running treatment centers for people who deal with excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle and associated health problems.

Dr. Binks and his team looked at the relationship between current activity and quality of life in about 1,200 severely obese men and women who entered the Duke weight loss program.

These subjects were 100 pounds overweight and in their pre-program assessment reported that they were active for just about one hour a week. Quality of life and ease of daily living were also noted.

Even this minor level of activity brought benefits. The subjects felt better.

The study participants didn’t think “workout” but rather just being more active as part of their everyday routine.

Left untreated, obesity can, and often does, lead to poor health. But beyond the burden to your body, being so heavy opens you up to self-esteem challenges like feeling unattractive, as well as the thinly veiled social stigma of being so overweight. And if, like so many people, you’re trying to lose the weight and failing, you’re likely blaming yourself – another thing certain to sabotage your confidence.

What you need to understand is that the trouble with obesity is in the odds – 95% of those who manage to lose the extra weight regain all they lost within 5 years. Imagine all that effort and being right back where you started in just a few years?

Instead, many in healthcare are pointing out (and rightly so considering soaring obesity rates) that treatment focused on diet and achieving an ideal weight… instead of living an all around healthy lifestyle, clearly isn’t working for the long term.

Obesity is the type of condition, similar to diabetes and high blood pressure that may need constant treatment and monitoring. Perhaps by treating obesity just as we do other chronic diseases, we can find effective, lasting ways to help patients manage weight.

Even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of your current body weight, maintained long term, can have tremendous benefits not only to overall health, but your everyday life as well. Getting active, even just a little bit every day, can be that all important first step in gaining the benefits of exercise.

What are the benefits of exercise? Is exercise all that good for you? Yes, yes, and yes. Studies overwhelmingly indicate that exercise has a LOT of benefits. I wrote a piece on exercise and weight for The New York Times a couple months ago, and I’m going to talk about that next week. But a lot of people took that column to mean that exercise isn’t important or helpful. That’s so wrong that I want to address that first. Exercise, and the good it can do you, is the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage.

 

 

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