Slow and Steady Wins the Race to Weight Loss Success?
by Dr. Richard Foxx
With the prevalence of obesity and overweight people in American society, a common goal many of us share is shedding those extra pounds. It might seem like a straightforward goal, but the pathway to achieving that goal may be fraught with pain, barriers to exercise, and disappointment.
Being overweight or obese isn’t an isolated condition; carrying some extra weight can cause stress to joints and strain on your body overall, especially when it comes to high-intensity workouts. You may recall seeing those montage clips from the television series The Biggest Loser, where everyone is running full-speed on the treadmill with their personal trainer screaming in their ears until they reach that 30-second mark, at which point it’s OK to slow the pace down. This is referred to as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, and for some time, this form of training was considered the most effective in getting into shape.
However, I can’t ignore the merit in the old saying “slow and steady wins the race,” especially when it comes to weight loss. Now, it seems I’m not alone, as a new study has proven that while HIIT may improve overall fitness, it’s ineffective in improving fat distribution in overweight and obese adults. The alternative? Continuous, steady exercise.
The study I’m referring to found that when comparing one group following a continuous exercise program and another following an HIIT program, only those involved in continuous exercise saw a significant reduction in body fat, though overall fitness levels improved more significantly for those following the HIIT program. Simply put, if your goal is to lose weight, then continuous exercise is the way to do it.
For those who are obese or overweight and are just starting out on their weight loss journey, I definitely recommend starting by shedding some of that weight through continuous exercise. After you’ve reduced your weight to a more average number, you can consider improving your overall fitness levels through more intense training. Using this method, you’re less likely to cause extra strain on your body due to excess weight.
I’d suggest making swimming your exercise of choice. Heading into summer, this form of exercise tends to be the most pleasant on hot days. Swimming is also easier on your joints and is the best choice for those who may suffer from arthritis. Finally, I understand that one of the most difficult problems when it comes to sticking to an exercise program is finding the time, especially if you’re following a continuous exercise regimen that requires more time to achieve the best results. Your time is limited and you have other commitments, one of which may be to spend time with friends and family. Consider taking an aquafit class with a couple friends. Plus, what better way is there to enjoy the summer with the ones you love than by going for a swim—especially with the grandchildren?
Source for Today’s Article:
- Keating, S.E., et al., “Continuous Exercise but Not High Intensity Interval Training Improves Fat Distribution in Overweight Adults,” Journal of Obesity 2014; doi: 10.1155/2014/834865.
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Richard M. Foxx, MD has decades of medical experience with a comprehensive background in endocrinology, aesthetic and laser medicine, gynecology, and sports medicine. He has extensive experience with professional athletes, including several Olympic competitors. Dr. Foxx practices aesthetic and laser medicine, integrative medicine, and anti-aging medicine. He is the founder and Medical Director of the Medical and Skin Spa located in Indian Wells, California, at the Hyatt Regency Resort. Dr. Foxx is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and is a member of the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology, and a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. – See more at: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/author/dr-richard-foxx#sthash.wEWEcG4Q.dpuf