Sunday, February 20, 2011

Exercise Is For More Than Just Losing Weight. Hard Facts About Weight loss, Portion Control & Exercise. Personal Training.

As I surf around the web and read other blogs, I'm noticing that there are a lot of people out there struggling to lose weight, stick to an exercise plan and/or get healthy. They are blogging about their trials and tribulations, and it seems that I see a trend of exercise getting a bad rep.

It is true, that if you begin an exercise program you become more hungry and many people actually begin to increase their caloric intake. Sometimes this even leads to weight gain. The formula is very simple: Calories In vs Calories Out. If you start exercising and then you start consuming more food, you will not lose any weight from exercising. You will, however, lower your blood pressure, lower your resting heart rate, lower your risk of disease, increase oxygenation to your blood, increase your muscle strength & endurance, increase your bone density, increase serotonin & melatonin in your body as well as usually you will become more emotionally happy.

One of my favorite blogs is The French Skinny Experiment. My friend Karen is one of the co-bloggers and I think she is a wonderfully funny writer and a great photographer. She has really embraced portion control and it has worked beautifully for her. She has become accustomed to very small portions. While I don't feel that this it at all a risk to her health because she eats primarily healthy choices, I do think that it isn't realistic amounts of food for most people let alone most Americans. Regular exercise would allow a person to intake a little larger portion and provide all of the benefits I listed above.

I should mention that in the blog they are both very active women, so this provides daily cardio. If one can manage to find time to walk to the store and walk to the park and play actively with their children for many hours a day then your cardio needs will most likely be fulfilled. However, I think we are not always situated in areas or with lives that allow for walking to the store. With this in mind, you do need to get cardio exercise daily for more reasons than weight loss.

Heart Disease is still the number one killer of women in America today. Cardiovascular exercise builds the heart muscle the way that lifting a weight builds a bicep or any other muscle. With the heart muscle stronger it allows the blood pressure to slow down. The heart can more efficiently pump out a larger amount of blood that can travel through the blood stream slower before another push is needed by the heart. Basically, the heart has more time to relax and lasts longer. It doesn't have to work so hard.

Obesity is now becoming the leading killer of Americans in general. With portion control, obesity can be combated for sure. However, when many people just go on portion control only with no guidance, they often just portion control the horrible "food impostors" they have been eating all along. It is very important when doing portion control to give the body healthy food so that it can absorb the nutrients and not keep telling the brain that it is hungry. See if the body doesn't get the nutrients it needs, it will just keep telling you its hungry. Many people than fail with their portion control. This is the sad fact why when eating junk food people can eat and eat often without feeling full. The brain is just taking in the pleasure without the body getting nutrients.

To sum it all up, even when portion control is successful for weight loss, the body still needs the exercise. I once heard a saying "A great diet can never make up for not exercising." There are so many other benefits that come from exercise that it is still necessary to get it in. If there is not a weight issue, half an hour to an hour 4 to 7 days a week will do to keep your bones strong and your heart healthy. Even thin people who eat well often suffer from osteoporosis and high blood pressure and/or cholesterol.

Laura Fortino
Body & Mind of Huntington Beach