Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sorry Time, we don't need more excuses to be lazy

Time Magazine wrote this article explaining "why exercise won't make you thin" and I must say, though I was not able to complete my own scientific study to refute it, I believe that simple common sense will show the misleading information presented in this article. The basic premise of the article has two points: exercising leads to over eating, human bodies aren't built for short intense cardio.
I do agree with the second point, that our lifestyles have gotten too sedentary but unfortunately there is not a great deal that most of us can do about that. It would be ideal if we could all work in positions that involved moderate physical activity, but most of us sit in offices, cubicles or on the couch most of the time. So in that regard I say your half hour run three times a week is better than nothing, though neither is ideal.
However the other major point of the article is that studies show those who exercise are likely to eat more as a result. The author throws in anecdotal evidence along with the statistics and as a whole I find the article rather misleading. I find that in a nation with skyrocketing obesity rates its not helpful to give the public advice like this:

"The basic problem is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. "

That statement is true, but the article as a whole seems designed to turn people off of exercise. I feel a more responsible, and logical, approach would have been to suggest people take extra steps to make sure they eat a healthy diet while exercising, instead of making exercise sound pointless.

Personally, I do gain weight when I am exercising regularly because I gain muscle mass and I eat a healthy diet year-round regardless of how much time I have to hit the gym. It is simple math, if you eat the same and exercise more you burn more calories. I just feel the last thing we need is somebody telling people that exercise isn't helpful, because it is.

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