What You Assumed About Weight Loss and Exercise May Be Wrong

Vigorous, sustained exercise does more good, not only for kids, but adults as well, according a Duke University Medical center report on the various factors that affect weight loss.

Matters of physics refute the simple calculations many so-called experts use to spur use to exercise, such as a 1-mile walk burning 100 calories. Those estimates are imprecise at best, because they don't take into account the number of calories a patient's body would've burned sitting still. And, you can subtract 10-15 percent of the calories your treadmill says you may have burned because using a machine reduces the amount of calories your body uses.

On the other hand, weight-bearing, gravity-fighting exercises like dancing, skating, running, stair-climbing and walking burn more calories than water-based exercises or cycling (although you may make up for the slower caloric burn associated with the latter group by doing them longer).

How skillfully your perform your personal exercise regimen also affects calorie burn too. Poor technique may make you work harder and expend more calories, but you'll quit faster and may hurt yourself along the way.

However, considering all the good exercise can do -- beating diabetes and Alzheimer's -- you'll want to get it right the first time.

New York Times September 12, 2006 Registration Required

Rocky Mountain News September 19, 2006

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