If it gets down to a choice, which holds the most health importance – exercise or weight loss?
Of course they're both essential to great health. But, if you had to choose, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, when it comes to heart disease prevention (our #1 killer), it may be more important for a woman to be fit than thin.
Dr. Timothy Wessel of the University of Florida studied more than 900 women over a four-year period. At the beginning of the study, 76% of the women were overweight or obese.
After four years, Dr. Wessel concluded, “Our study shows that the lack of physical fitness is a stronger risk factor for developing heart disease than being overweight or even obese.”
The Health Importance of Exercise
During the study, 50% of the women suffered coronary disease problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Researchers then analyzed the results by categories of weight and activity.
They discovered that the women who were more active on a regular basis, no matter how much they weighed, had much stronger and healthier hearts than the women who were less active.
Physical activity, even if it’s just something simple like regularly walking up a flight of stairs or taking a daily leisurely walk around the block, has some beneficial effects on many factors related to your health. And oddly enough, the benefits of exercise even include weight loss.
Actually, exercise is a major factor in managing your weight. And besides helping to prevent heart disease, exercise also helps reduce depression, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk and negative effects of diabetes and certain kinds of cancer, such as breast cancer.
So don’t you think you're health is worth fitting some regular exercise into your lifestyle?
For prevention or treatment of heart disease and many other health benefits, it's recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise and weight training five days a week or more.
The Bottom Line for Exercise vs Weight Loss
Of course, even though physical activity may be of more health importance than weight loss for the prevention and treatment of heart disease, being overweight or obese is still a risk factor.
And maintaining a healthy normal weight also reduces your risk of other serious conditions, including Osteoarthritis, some types of cancer, diabetes and psychological disorders.
When it get right down to it, in order to live a long, healthy, satisfying life, the answer's still the same. Eat a super healthy diet by choosing from the healthiest foods list. Learn how to eat less and move more to lose weight. And maintain a healthy, positive attitude to create a happy life!
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.