Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Importance of Physical Fitness for Weight Loss

Physical fitness and nutrition are two of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. A lot of movement and intentional exercise are not only essential for weight management, but they are beneficial for the overall health as they help to improve the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. The American College of Sports Medicine has published a pronouncement in their official journal, suggesting that the increased levels of physical activity may be necessary for weight loss and for the prevention of weight regain, as well.

Among the recommendations of the statement, the ACSM position emphasizes the importance of physical fitness for weight management. Here are the prominent points that show the relation between physical activity and weight loss:

  •     Nowadays, weight management is a pressing public health concern, as more than 60 percent of U.S. adults either overweight or obese. Only as little as a two to three percent decrease in excessive body weight can be beneficial toward the improvement in chronic disease risk factors.
  •     To achieve weight loss results and prevent weight regain, larger levels of physical exercise/activities on regular basis are needed.
  •     For the prevention of weight gain - 150-250 minutes a week of physical activity at a moderate-intensity rate is recommended. For more than 150 minutes every week spent in exercise, modest results of weight loss are expected.
  •     Achieving weight loss - 150-250 minutes a week of physical fitness can lead to only modest results. Greater amounts will most likely provide clinically considerable reduction of body weight.
  •     To maintain body weight and prevent regain - more than 250 minutes a week of exercise are considered to be helpful.
  •     Energy-balanced diet along with regular physical fitness will lead to greater decrease in body weight, rather than dieting alone.

In general the recommendations for adults are of at least 150 minutes/week, or 30 minutes - 5 days a week, of moderate-intensity physical activity in order to prevent significant weight gain and for the reduction of associated chronic disease risk factors. If such activity levels are maintained steadily in the long-term, overweight and obese people will most likely experience greater weight loss, than slightly overweight people. However, to prevent weight regain and to further promote greater weight reduction - more than 250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical fitness, distributed evenly throughout the week, is advisable.

Along with aerobic exercises, strength or resistant-training is also important to improve the musculoskeletal system, promote muscle mass development and to further decrease many health risks.

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