A verbatim extract from the article: The boom in the fitness industry has done little to curb the obesity epidemic, according to leading academic researchers. A University of Leicester study has shown that while gyms and private health clubs have grown in popularity in recent years, the nation’s weight has grown too. The researchers argued that the reason for the paradox is that such clubs tend to attract wealthier people, leaving the less well off struggling to find ways to combat weight problems.
The findings are clearly accurate in that more people have joined gyms and private health clubs AND obesity has been rising, since the 1980’s in fact. However, I think the researchers have drawn the wrong conclusions. Far too much reliance has been put on the suggestion that exercise is going to solve our obesity epidemic. This, I believe, is wrong…
There are approximately 250 calories in an average confectionery bar. To burn off those calories, a 150lb person would need to do the following:
≠ Run for 24 minutes,
≠ Cycle for 37 minutes,
≠ Weight train for 53 minutes,
≠ Walk for 42 minutes,
≠ Aerobics for 33-38 minutes,
≠ Swim for 29 minutes.
Even after an hour in the gym, for example, people are not going to burn off enough calories to make a difference to the obesity epidemic. Furthermore, the body knows when you exercise and it asks for energy to be replenished by making you hungry when you finish.
There are several excellent reasons for exercising; it is a good workout for your heart, it makes you toned and fitter, it makes you feel good and releases stress. Probably the worst reason for exercising is because you think it will make you lose weight. It will increase your body’s desire for fuel (calories/food) and you could quite probably eat more after the gym than you have used up inside it!
The only way to lose weight is to eat better, not to eat less but to eat real food. Exercise is not the answer. This is why the higher numbers of people exercising/joining gyms, has made no difference to the obesity epidemic.