Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fitness More Important Than Fatness

We all know that the majority of American classify as overweight or obese. Obviously, there are many benefits to losing weight and I encourage people to do so. However, as I mentioned in my post of 12-26-07, I strongly believe in the importance of regular physical activity whether or not weight loss is the goal or the result.

Apparently, so does researcher and exercise physiologist Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina. According to an article on WebMD, Blair found that overweight and obese men and women who were judged fit on a treadmill test had a lower risk of death than those of appropriate weight with low fitness levels.

According to the results of Blair's study, participants judged to be in the lower 5th of fitness levels were four times more likely to die than those in the top 5th, regardless of the individual's weight.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not dismissing the serious problem of obesity and this study does not give anyone an excuse for throwing in the towel on dropping pounds. My point is simply that far too many people think of exercise solely as a vehicle for weight management, which I find very frustrating. There are a huge number of physical, mental and emotional health benefits associated with regular physical activity, regardless of the size of the exerciser.

You can read the entire article here:
You Can Be Fat and Fit (and Live Longer!)

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