To live a longer life, exercise is more vital than reducing lose weight

The research, which looked at hundreds of prior studies on weight reduction and exercise in men and women, revealed that being obese reduces your risk of heart disease and early mortality considerably more than losing weight or dieting does.

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Fitness is more essential than weight loss for improved health and a longer lifespan, especially if you are overweight or obese, according to a recent study on the connections between fitness, weight, heart health and longevity. Researchers looked at hundreds of prior research on weight reduction and exercise to find that becoming active reduces the risk of heart disease and early mortality considerably more than losing weight or dieting does for obese people.

Researchers said the study’s findings support other research that shows people who are physically active may be healthy regardless of their body weight or shape.

The science of exercise and weight reduction has been a regular topic in this column, and most of it is depressing if your aim is to lose weight. According to previous studies, persons who begin exercising but do not also significantly reduce their food intake seldom, if ever, lose weight. To be effective in losing weight, exercise must burn more calories than it consumes. Our bodies’ metabolic activities are often automatically dialed down to lower overall daily energy consumption to make up for the little caloric expenditure from exercise, as I discussed in last week’s column.

The shortcomings of exercises for fat reduction are well-known to Glenn Gaesser, an Arizona State University professor of exercise physiology in Phoenix. He’s been researching the effects of physical exercise on people’s body composition, metabolism, and endurance for decades, with an emphasis on obese individuals in particular. In several of his previous studies, he found that working out to lose weight was ineffective. It was his idea to have obese ladies walk for 30 minutes three times each week for the duration of a trial in 2015, and the results were astounding. There were a few people who had lost some weight and some who had gained some after just 12 weeks.

Overweight and obese people with serious health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or insulin resistance – a precursor to Type 2 diabetes – have shown significant improvements in these conditions after beginning an exercise program run by Gaesser’s lab, regardless of whether or not they lost any weight. This led Gaesser to speculate that exercise could allow overweight people — regardless of their BMI — to have good metabolic health, which may allow them to outlive their less fit counterparts by as much as 10 years.

For that reason, he and his colleague Siddhartha Angadi of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, a professor of education and kinesiology, began searching research databases for previous studies on dieting, exercise, fitness, metabolic health and longevity for the new study, which was published this month in iScience When meta-analyses pool and evaluate data from several previous studies in order to look at the outcomes of many more people than most individual weight loss or exercise studies, which are usually small-scale, researchers were particularly interested.

About 200 relevant meta-analyses and specific research projects came out of that. As a result of all of this study, which included hundreds of thousands of overweight or obese men and women, they set out to determine if reducing weight or becoming exercise was more beneficial for boosting metabolisms and extending lifespan. Instead of asking if reducing weight or getting up and exercising is better for someone’s health, they sought to find out which had the greater impact.

They discovered that the competition was not close at all. Dr. Gaesser found that being fitter was significantly more beneficial than reducing weight when comparing head-to-head.

There are studies that demonstrate that obese people who start exercising and improving their fitness have a reduced chance of dying young by 30 percent or more, even if they do not lose weight. According to Gaesser, this improvement lowers their chance of early mortality compared to those who are average weight but out of shape.

The statistical risk of dying young generally decreases by around 16% for obese persons who lose weight by diet (as opposed to sickness), although this is not true in all research. New study suggests that losing weight in obese adults has little effect on mortality risk reduction, according to the authors of the review.

It was not the goal of the current study to find out exactly how weight reduction or exercise affects persons with obesity’s longevity. Those who lost weight via dieting typically gained it back thereafter, which, according to Gaesser, can lead to metabolic issues like diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as a shorter lifespan.

He claims that exercise, on the other hand, fights the same problems. Additionally, it has the potential to alter people’s fat reserves in unanticipated ways. Although their total weight reduction is minimal, “those with obesity generally shed some visceral fat when they exercise,” he explained. Because of the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other diseases associated with visceral fat.

Exercise, according to several of the research cited, affects molecular communication in other fat cells, which may help people of any weight lose weight by improving insulin resistance. Gaesser concluded that exercising made those with excess body fat more physically fit.

Gaesser’s main conclusion from the new analysis is that you don’t have to reduce weight to be healthy. According to him, boosting your physical activity and fitness is better for your health than dieting to lose weight.

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