Sherry Torkos, BScPharm
We all know that exercise is essential for weight management because it burns calories
We all know that exercise is essential for weight management because it burns calories. But how much and what kind of exercise is best?
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh enrolled 201 overweight, sedentary women as participants in a one-year study. They were randomly assigned to one of four exercise groups: (1) vigorous intensity with high duration; (2) moderate intensity with high duration; (3) moderate intensity with moderate duration; or (4) vigorous intensity with moderate duration. All women were instructed to follow a 1,200 to 1,500 kilocalorie-per-day diet and reduce fat intake to 20 to 30 percent of total energy intake.
Weight loss was significant in all groups, with those exercising moderately gaining similar benefits to those who exercised vigorously. Participants who walked briskly (moderate exercise) for at least 50 minutes, five times a week, and who cut back on fatty foods saw the best long-term weight loss. In six months, they lost an average of 25 pounds, or about 15 percent of their body weight, and the program helped them keep the weight off the rest of the year. It came down to the calories they burned, not how hard they worked to burn them.