The Running Doctor: Losing weight through exercise
One must ask themselves the question of whether to be fit or to be fat. You cannot be fit if you just sit. And if you just sit and increase your eating and never exercise, you will get fat; thereby increasing the likelihood for disease processes. If you don't want to get fat, you must exercise your way to fitness.
Many men and women suffer from one of society's most common complaints: the battle of the bulge - and often wonder how this phenomenon could occur if they are not eating any more. The answer does not lie in one's eating habits. Since the rate of metabolism decreases with age, there must be sufficient exercise to prevent a decrease in lean body weight and an increase in body fat.
Many individuals find it easier to get fat than to exercise. A possible answer may be that the person is afraid of failure. We must have a positive attitude to enter a program to prevent obesity. Regular exercise will increase your energy, improve your mental health, and help you towards a more positive outlook. If you have not exercise in a while, check in with your doctor before you start your exercise program.
The exercise program should help build and maintain muscle mass. A potentially trainable pair of lower leg muscles is all that is needed to begin your own fitness program. The leg muscles themselves can do as much as 300 more work with a minimal change in the heart capability. In fact, people with greatly damaged hearts can train up to marathon distance.
Whatever problem or disease you suffer from, whether you have bad lungs or a bad heart, colitis, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, depression, or obesity, it is important to develop good leg muscles so that a full, functional potential will be available to you. From a physiological standpoint, we are adapting ourselves to run on a higher molecular level to keep our body cells infused with oxygen supplies - as well as to improve our mental health.
Although it has been minimized as a valuable form of exercise, walking is the most natural exercise known to man. It requires no special training, no particular terrain, and no outlay of money. A brisk, 30-minute walk is considered to be an aerobic exercise.
An aerobic exercise will increase your body's ability to utilize oxygen as well as gently elevate the heart rate. This will increase the heart's efficiency as a pump, thereby improving the body's metabolism and creating good cardiovascular stimulation.
Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons, has a practice in Darien, affiliated with Stamford Hospital and is a member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle Institute.