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Thu, Dec. 12

To exercise or not to exercise?

If you asked 100 people about the benefits of exercise, what do you think you would hear?

You might hear, "I strongly believe in exercise but I don't have the time," "once I have finished my work day and taken care of my responsibilities at home, I just do not have the energy to exercise," or "I just don't like to exercise."

Two reports reflect the trend in American inactivity. One report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention examined activity in three areas: household work, transportation and discretionary/leisure time.

The researchers found that 54.1 percent of American adults do not meet the minimum recommendation of being physically active at least 30 minutes a day. The report also shows that 15 percent of adults are inactive in all three areas.

The other report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report suggests that 19 percent of Americans ages 12 to 49 are out of shape. Participants in the study included over 5,000 adults and adolescents who completed a basic fitness test. About 14 percent of adults were categorized in the lowest fitness group. Almost 34 percent of the adolescents failed the fitness test! Women were found to be less fit than men are. Also, those in the lowest fitness group were more likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

These two reports show how sedentary Americans are, and how activity impacts fitness. Try to make an effort to get at least a half hour of activity in daily. You can be part of the percentage of Americans who are fit and less likely to be overweight.

What other benefits might you receive from exercise? Did you ever think that exercise might decrease your appetite or are you of the opinion that your appetite will increase from exercise? Maybe you figure that you won't bother increasing your activity level, since you'll probably make up for the calories burned by eating more food.

Studies show that people who exercise moderately eat about the same as they would if they didn't work out. Athletes who train strenuously tend to eat more, but they also burn more calories. Furthermore, appetite tends to decrease during the first hour or so after a workout.

You have to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight. You already cut back on the calories you consume if you're following your diet program. However, adding exercise can help you burn more calories, while protecting your muscle mass and keeping your metabolic rate up. So don't worry about exercise making you hungry. Exercise can actually help curb your appetite, burn calories, and boost your metabolism to help you reach your weight loss goals!

Call the Diet Center at (928) 753-5066 for more information.

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