Last week I talked about whether there’s a best time to exercise. This week I want to ask if there are certain types of exercise that are better for weight loss than others. Personally, I believe the bottom line is choosing something you actually like doing and doing it consistently.
But research has been done on people who inherited genes that increase their chance of becoming obese. This research identified the specific types of exercise that are especially effective at combatting genetic effects that contribute to obesity.
This research addressed specific measures of obesity, such as body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and waist-to-hip ratio. They found that regular jogging was the best type of exercise for managing obesity, according to those five measures.
Additionally, mountain climbing, walking, power walking, certain types of dancing, and long yoga practices also reduce BMI in those individuals genetically predisposed to obesity. Surprisingly, cycling, stretching exercises, swimming and Dance Dance Revolution did not counteract the genetic effects on obesity. Previous research, which focused only on BMI, revealed that any frequent physical activity blunts the genetic effects of obesity, whereas this new research takes into consideration four other measures of obesity that are more closely linked to metabolic problems.
So unless you are genetically predisposed to obesity, I would still suggest, just get moving and stay active and you will reap the benefits of improved health and weight loss.
Now before you give up your favorite type of exercise, I also read about some surprising benefits of swimming. Swimming workouts are one of the best activities you can do for your body year-round. Swimming workouts provide both physical and mental benefits, and can really improve your overall health in a short amount of time.
Swimming increases blood flow to the brain so you experience increased alertness, better memory and cognitive function. In fact, one fascinating study showed that just being chest deep in warm water increased blood flow to cerebral arteries by 14%. That’s not all! Swimming workouts lowered resting blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced heart disease and inflammation.
So my take-away from all this remains: choose something you enjoy doing, and do it consistently. There are numerous benefits to all different types of exercise and varying what you do is a good idea since you reap the benefits of each different kind of exercise. There is more to be gained than just weight loss!
What is your preferred type of exercise and why?
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I used to think I got plenty of exercise; jumping to conclusions, pushing my luck, and dodging deadlines at work. 🙂 Then I retired. I couldn’t agree more with your “staying active” comment Ms. Ann. It’s when I sit around and do little (at my desk all day, etc.) that I begin to feel old. Even if some days, it’s just my chores or walking to the mailbox and back (a long walk here in the country), movement and activity makes my joints feel better and puts a “spring in my step” as they say. Great reminders ma’am; thank you!
Thank you J.D. I think we sometimes believe if we are not “working out” at a gym or spending hours it is not effective but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Over-exercising creates inflammation that is just as bad as not exercising. Just intentionally staying active and including movement keeps us functioning well and able to do what we need to. I’m sure your walk to the mailbox is equivalent to our trail walks!!
Agreed 100%! If you enjoy doing it, you’re more likely to stay fit. Great research as always. Now I just need to move to the ocean so I can swim daily! 😉
Hahaha – yes I could use some of that water activity too!
Ann, I visited a zumba class today. Not sure I’ll continue. When the air is a nice temperature, I enjoy walking outside. I used to enjoy almost any type of dance, but my knees don’t like anything too bouncy now. 🙂
Oh I hear you, Debbie! I love being able to go for a long walk on one of the local trails weather-permitting. It’s definitely my exercise of choice.