Picture a person on the road to better health. They’re eating less processed food, cutting down on sugar, restricting a glass of wine to the weekends, and they’re most likely embarking on a strict exercise regimen. Eating a nutritious diet and performing regular exercise go hand-in-hand; it’s what the medical community has encouraged for decades if you’re seeking to lose weight.
Here at the clinic we approach weight loss differently to allopathic methods. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, being overweight causes an inefficiency of the body’s functions. By trying to encourage a body that’s not in the right shape to exercise can cause damage and injury. Diet is the most effective way to lose weight initially, and once the weight is lost, exercise can be introduced as an excellent way to improve circulation, reduce cancer risks and maintain an overall sense of wellbeing.
Traditional views on exercise and weight loss have a reason to change based on a new study published in PeerJ. Loyola University Chicago researchers carried out a physical activity study to see how much of an effect physical activity has on a person’s weight. The results show that exercise is not actually key to weight control. The research involved young people from the US and four other countries, and showed that neither exercise nor sedentary activity affected weight.
The Loyola study was part of the METS study, which sought to analyse participants in five countries – the United States, Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica and the Seychelles – over a number of years. According to previous research, when people are asked about their physical activity, they tend to embellish, so the Loyola team gave their participants tracking devices to wear around their waists. Following their initial exam, participants returned one year and two years later for re-examination.
The most interesting revelation is that those adults who met the U.S. surgeon general’s recommended activity per week (2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise – i.e. fast walking) actually gained weight. Future recommendations from the research team include greater examination of food: “our data suggest that other environmental factors that influence food consumption may be a more fertile field for public research and health intervention.”
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