Exercise has been shown in clinical trials to be a powerful tool that causes people to lose weight, while also reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are 3 quick steps you can take to help make healthy changes in your life:
1. Exercise can start today
A 2009 study published in The Lancet suggested that people who started fitness programs between 1 and 5 years prior to participating in them gained as much as 10 percent of their average body weight back by the end of their 10-year follow-up.
Here’s how the study’s authors put it, “Participants who were more actively involved in regular exercise at baseline exhibited greater weight loss over a 10-year period than those who were sedentary for the entire course of the study.”
So, why does exercise have such a powerful effect? The answer is simple — exercise builds muscle tissue, which releases endorphins that make us feel euphoric, happy and energetic. In terms of weight loss, this translates into lower caloric intake by making you feel fuller as well as having more energy throughout the day.
The study also linked daily exercise to increased muscle recovery, which allows you to carry more weight the longer you exercise at a given level of intensity.
And there’s evidence to suggest that more physically active people are healthier overall. Specifically, studies show that people who exercise regularly are at increased risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. The average person should increase their activity levels from 35 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity daily in a given week to 75 minutes, while those who exercise 2 to 3 times a week are at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
2. Eat the right foods
A 2012 study in Diabetes Care found significant inverse correlations between obesity trends and obesity-related dietary patterns.
In other words, people who consistently consume more high-fat foods like fried foods, french fries and potato chips are more likely to be obese than people who ate less.
While your goal isn’t necessarily to make yourself obese, keeping your weight under a certain weight is still crucial. So be sure to choose a healthy diet that has a high fiber mix and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.
But don’t restrict yourself! Make eating healthy your top priority, not weight loss.
When you make your eating a priority, you make it the number one priority — and that means eating healthier.
3. Exercise is the right tool
A 2012 meta-analysis published
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