Can You Exercise Less and Be Healthy?

weekend-warrior-2You may have noticed the headlines from a new study recently released in JAMA Internal Medicine in the popular media recently.  It has appeared with titles such as:

When I see headlines like these I get a bit nervous. Whenever the media tend to get a hold of research they do their best to distill the results into as few words as possible. At best this misses a lot of the nuance of the research and at worse is downright misleading. Continue reading

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Musings on Weight Gain and the Clock Change

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The leaves are turning, the air is a bit cooler, and the sun is starting to set earlier and earlier.  This, of course, means that we are well along on our descent into the darkness of winter.  It also means that it’s time to undertake our biannual international moment of temporary insanity when we collectively change our clocks and pretend that astronomical circadian rhythms will accommodate our insanity.  In other words, the clocks are about to change.
Continue reading

Exercises that burn more calories than running

getty-148345501-warrengoldswain-mainRunning is probably the most popular exercise in the world for weight loss.  I think the most likely reason is that it’s the easiest to do.  Most of us have been running since we were toddlers and pretty much have mastered the technique.  While ultra marathon fanatics would probably scream at me and claim that mastering running technique is something that few have done, I think most of us have the methodology down enough to make it the mainstay of our exercise routine. Continue reading

4 Week Home Fitness Plan

mzl.cguzcziyI know the problems. I know the excuses. I know the obstacles. There’s the time issue. I mean, by the time you get changed, get to the gym, hit the gym floor, do your thing, come home, shower, and change again you’re talking about an hour and a half. Who’s got an hour and a half?  That’s why I’m here to help.  I have come up with a 4 week workout plan for you.  Each workout can be done at home, without any equipment, and in 20 minutes. They are intense but can be modified to your personal fitness level. There is no reason, no excuse for not being able to do these workouts.  Continue reading

Not losing weight with exercise?

You can't out exercise a bad dietHopefully, many of you have embarked on my 4×4 fitness challenge as many at my work have (shout out to Erika D.  for being the Carroll Hospital leader so far!).  If you haven’t , it’s not too late – click here.  People have already started to see improvements in their fitness levels.  Many can now pound out pushups and burpees in week 3 which they couldn’t do so well in week 1.  In spite of their hard work there is a recurring issue that people bring up to me all the time with respect to exercise and weight loss.  People often complain that, in spite of exercising regularly, they are unable to lose weight.  The root of this problem lies in the way that exercise affects appetite. Continue reading

The 4 x 4 Fitness Challenge

betterPeople frequently tell me that they have difficulty with exercise.  They don’t know where to begin.  They don’ t have gym memberships or, if they do, they don’ t know what to do when they get there.  They don’t have time.  These and many other excuses prompted me to come up with a four week challenge to help people get started on the path to improved fitness.  The challenge will involve four different easy, at-home, no equipment workouts to be done every week for four weeks.  Each of the workouts is timed and the goal of the challenge is to improve your time over the four week period.  This is a challenge where the only person you compete against is yourself.   Continue reading

Skinny Fat

no moreSkinny fatI came across an interesting phrase that my sister-in-law used recently.  She referred to some of her friends as “skinny fat”.  The term, she explained, referred to people who were a healthy weight but did absolutely nothing to improve their physical fitness.  They were skinny on the outside but ‘fat’ on the inside.  This raises an important distinction that is essential to grasp if you want to not just be a healthy weight but actually be a healthy person.  There is a difference between body weight and health.  While it is not possible to be obese and healthy (see my prior post The Myth of the Healthy Obese) it is possible to be normal weight and unhealthy.  For this reason it is essential for your health that exercise and proper nutrition (not just calorie restriction) be a regular and central part of your weight loss plan.  Your goal should not just be to lose weight, it should be to become a healthier person.  Losing the weight is not enough. Continue reading