Time Magazine: Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin
PetuniaPea posted:
The article in four pages: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1914974-1,00.html

I read this controversial article early last year in a 2010 issue of Time Magazine. It was sitting in the waiting area while I was awaiting my doctor's appointment; needless to say, I stole--um, I mean, borrowed it and took it home to finish reading. This article has stuck with me ever since. The title is controversial and meant to get your attention, but once you start reading it, it makes total sense.

Since reading this, my mantra has been "Be active, MOVE, exercise moderately, and don't just exercise strenuously for an hour and plop down and sit or lie down the next 23!"

I'll sum up a few of the main points:

"More than 45 million Americans now belong to a health club...yet obesity figures have risen dramatically."

"People who regularly exercise are at significantly lower risk for all manner of diseases — those of the heart in particular."

Exercise can stimulate hunger, and people can end up "rewarding" themselves by eating or drinking high calorie snacks, meals, or energy drinks. For example, years ago I remember going to the gym with my mom and we went across the street afterwards and ate at Denny's. We burned 300-500 calories at the gym and replaced it with over 1000 calorie meal at Denny's!

Exercise can create a phenomena called "compensation:" You exercise, then you sit around all day or lie on the couch and watch TV for hours. You got in your workout, right? You don't have to do anything else. Wrong! Also, as I mentioned above, people reward themselves with "treats" after they put in a hard workout. I pushed myself really hard, you tell yourself, I deserve that ice cream sundae! Again, big mistake.

The solution? Be wary about doing strenuous exercise, like "spinning" at the gym or running or jogging for long distances, etc. This can produce hunger and the subconscious desire to consume more calories than you burned. Most importantly, MOVE REGULARLY DURING YOUR WAKING HOURS!

From the article, page 3:
"But there's some confusion about whether it is exercise — sweaty, exhausting, hunger-producing bursts of activity done exclusively to benefit our health — that leads to all these benefits or something far simpler: regularly moving during our waking hours. We all need to move more — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says our leisure-time physical activity (including things like golfing, gardening and walking) has decreased since the late 1980s, right around the time the gym boom really exploded. But do we need to stress our bodies at the gym?"

Here's my advice, after gleaning things from this article...

Spend your day walking, window shopping, running errands, grocery shopping, cleaning your home, cooking in the kitchen, doing laundry, folding clothes, doing different projects around the house like cleaning out your garage or cabinets.

Take your pet out for a walk, go to a park, go for a stroll, play with your kids, play with your spouse.

Try to stand up at work if you have a desk job, or take phone calls standing up and walking if possible. Keep your sitting time limited in front of your home computer and TV. Stand when watching TV (light weights or light aerobics is optional).

Do mild to moderate exercise like walking, dancing, yoga, tennis, gardening, archery, etc!

If you're hungry after these activities, have a healthful 100-300 calorie snack, for instance nuts, fruit, veggies, dairy or non-dairy yogurt, a plant-based protein drink (hemp protein powder and almond milk is my fave!), or a whey protein almond milk shake (considered dairy because of the whey).

And finally, don't think that one hour of strenuous exercise is a free pass. Even if you choose to do that, STAY ACTIVE FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY!
PetuniaPea responded:
Beware! Exercise is not a free pass to binge on junk food! You will be setting yourself up for failure.

Just wanted to add a few more activities:

Don't get into an argument over a parking space--park the farthest from the store and walk!

Take the stairs! Don't take the elevator unless absolutely necessary/no way around it.

If you're worried about the safety of walking outside alone...go to the mall before they open and walk, walk, walk...there are lots of other people in there.