Do we need more studies to tell us that exercise is good? Yes, I think. Especially for those who want to lose weight (women, especially, and men, increasingly).
Weight management, is always a hot topic. I remember one of my previous post mentioned about which type of diet is good for losing weight, and having additional health benefits. Now, there's another study about weight loss, and it's EXERCISING!
The study was led by John M. Jakicic, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues.
201 overweight and obese women (body mass index: 27 to 40; age range: 21-45 years) with no contraindications to weight loss or physical activity were recruited in this study. At the start, all of the participants were sedentary.
Participants were divided into 4 groups with different behavioral weight loss intervention. They were randomly assigned to groups based on physical activity energy expenditure (1000 vs 2000 kcal/week) and intensity (moderate vs vigorous).
Participants also were told to reduce intake to 1200 to 1500 kcal per day.
Then, surveys of in-person conversations and telephone calls were conducted during the 2 years study period to collect the results.
At the end of the two-year study, women who had lost 10% or more of their initial body weight reported that they had done more physical activity compared with those who did not lose as much weight.
During the first 6 months, women in all four groups had lost an average of 8% to 10% of their initial body weight. But the hard part was keeping that weight off. Most of them regained the weight.
Nearly 25% of the participants managed to maintain 10% or more of the weight loss over the 2 years.
Those women exercised about 275 minutes a week more over their baseline activity levels.
So, what's the conclusion of the study?
The addition of 275 mins/week of physical activity, in combination with a reduction in energy intake, is important in allowing overweight women to sustain a weight loss of more than 10%.
You might need to change the statement now
So, next time, when you want to counsel people (those diabetic, or having cardiovascular diseases and need to lose weight) about lifestyle modification, the previous advice to them, "Exercise 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week", might be outdated.
As 55 minutes per day might sound odd, the duration can be changed to 1 hour per day (well, extra 5 minutes do more good than harm, right?).
Plus, it doesn't matter what type of exercising you are doing, as long as it can burn your calories!
Although this study conducted on women, I think, it's applicable for men, too. Well, exercising, is never a bad thing, for both men and women, right?
And I believe that the benefits of exercising 1 hour per day, 5 days per week, are beyond weight loss.
John M. Jakicic, Bess H. Marcus, Wei Lang, and Carol Janney. Effect of Exercise on 24-Month Weight Loss Maintenance in Overweight Women. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:1550-1559.