I’m sure you’ve noticed (haven’t you?) that everywhere you turn, everywhere you look, there seems to be another trainer, health expert, or self-appointed guru popping up to tell you solemnly about the pitfalls of exercise.
extra! extra! exercise doesn’t work!
Just in case you’ve missed the
hype news, let’s take a look at just a few of the devastations this seemingly healthy activity can cause –
- It causes a stress response!
- It can increase your lower body fat!
- It’ll ruin your posture!
- It’s aging!
- It’s robbing you of sleep, disrupting your body clock, and possibly even causing insulin resistance!
- Aerobic exercise in particular is a complete waste of time!
- Even if you are making smart exercise choices for health and fat loss you’re probably doing it wrong anyway!
- And let’s not even talk about the fact that you’re no doubt a lazy pig the rest of the day; all the while patting yourself on the back for having worked out!
when it comes to weight loss, does exercise work at all?
Well, apparently not.
According to this article by Time Magazine, even if you are somehow managing to forge ahead and feel good about yourself by working out regularly, you’re probably just self-medicating yourself fat again by loading the calories afterwards.
“In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,” says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher.
I mean seriously, why are you even bothering?
the facts on exercise and weight loss
does exercise work if the variables are right? heck yes!
but what about cardio and stress?
points to take home (or to the gym :))
- Scare tactics. If you have the motivation, determination and drive to set aside time to work out and challenge both body and mind, you deserve a massive pat on the back! All too many people whinge their life away, become unhealthier every year, and constantly blame someone else for their woes. You are doing something, and for that you deserve massive kudos, not fear and uncertainty.
- Insufficient facts. These studies saying (often categorically) that exercise is ‘bad for you’ remind me of so-called research stating that eating high protein is bad for you. Yet when you look behind the summary you see that the protein they were using was processed, or poor quality (not organic and grass-fed), or combined with a sedentary lifestyle and processed carbohydrates. Just because some people may reward themselves with too many treat foods or a weekend of sloth doesn’t inherently make exercise bad.
- Gives you an excuse not to work hard. It’s true that I don’t love endurance cardio or group fitness as your primary source of exercise. I believe results are about working smart as well as hard, and to me that means a foundation of strength training, with cardio based around circuits and intervals. The occasional endurance session or class is fine for variety or just if you love it. But don’t let anyone tell you that sweating is bad for you! The psychological benefits alone make it worthwhile in my opinion.
- Implies you will make poor food choices. This one just needs clarifying. Structuring your exercise program around low-intensity cardio will indeed make you crave carbohydrates. This comes down partly to education, and partly to choice. You can choose to be prepared and organised about what you will eat after training (and beyond), and you can also choose to educate yourself about the smartest workout methods for fat loss. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
does exercise work? well this certainly does!