Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do you have a set point for exercise?

Gretchen Reynolds, of the New York Times, just reported on a new study out.

Does exercising at one point during the day make you less active the rest of the time?

The question of whether humans have an innate set point for movement, a so-called activitystat, is of increasing interest and controversy among scientists. One of them is Dr. Terence J. Wilkin, a professor of endocrinology at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, England, who asked himself that question a few years ago while hoping to learn more about the interplay of activity and childhood obesity.

Read full article

A personal reflection on this study...

When I put out more energy, I need more down time. Let's say I work an 11 day like I do on Wednesdays, I need to balance it out with sloth time later or even on the weekend. Maybe a nap in the studio or a relaxing pedicure. I know how much energy I have and more activity requires me to rest more.

Dr. Wilkin had expected that the children at the prep school, who spent about 65 percent more time exercising at school than the other students, would be much more active over all. But they weren’t. In fact, when he collated the data, the weekly activity levels of the students from all three schools were remarkably similar. Students who exercised more at school were less active afterward.

What does this mean for managing childhood obesity or obesity in general? The answer isn't just more exercise. Weight loss and weight management is 80% food related.

And in reality, most people in our society haven't even come close to their maximal exercise out put. So don't take this finding as discouraging. Get off your ass and leave it behind! And particularly right now, lay off the Halloween candy. A little goes a long way.

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