Being Fit More Important Than Being Obese?

The $64,000 question many of you may be struggling to answer: Is it more important for me to lose weight by modifying my diet or start an exercise program first? In my mind, developing better health habits that last a lieftime require the best of both worlds:

However, a study of some 900 women found, in terms of heart disease, being fit may be more important than being thin. One physician pointed out the lack of physical fitness is a stronger risk factor for developing heart disease than being overweight or obese.

Interestingly, slightly more than half were diagnosed with heart disease or stroke and 68 women died during the four-year study.

When analyzed by categories of weight and activity, women who were at least moderately active were less likely to develop heart disease or related problems than women with low activity scores, no matter which weight category they were in.

Women were also asked about their ability to do common physical activities at home, work and at leisure, such as climbing a flight of stairs, running a short distance or walking around the block without stopping.

Nevertheless, a second study found that being overweight is a bigger risk factor than inactivity when it comes to adult-onset diabetes among women.

One of the most frequent problems I see with overweight patients is ED. No, that is not the popular euphemism erectile dysfunction, but my term for exercise deficiency. Most people have created an exercise debt that requires them to exercise about 90 minutes EVERY day to compensate for the accumulated debt. Once they acheive their ideal body weight they can drop down to 45 minutes three times a week and add in the cardio.

Additionally, most people don't exercise nearly hard enough and wonder why it doesn't work. I tell them exercise is like a drug and if you don't use it in the right dose, it will not work. One needs to move hard enough and fast enough so that it is difficult to carry on a conversation with the person next to them. Intensity less than this just won't generally be sufficient to improve insulin receptor sensitivity that is required to normalize weight.

Yahoo News September 7, 2004

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