Don’t for­get strength train­ing

The Washington Post - - FREE FOR ALL -

The Nov. 6 Health & Sci­ence ar­ti­cle “Why work­outs re­ally do help you shed pounds” failed to dis­cuss or even men­tion one of the most im­por­tant fac­tors re­gard­ing ex­er­cise, weight loss and weight main­te­nance: strength train­ing.

It is very im­por­tant what type of ex­er­cise you are do­ing. Aer­o­bic ex­er­cise, while im­prov­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, may not lead to weight loss un­less that ex­er­cise also im­proves strength (or in­creases mus­cle mass). Es­sen­tially, strength train­ing in­creases mus­cle mass, and mus­cles burn more calo­ries than fat does. In fact, mus­cles con­tinue to burn calo­ries even af­ter one has stopped ex­er­cis­ing. As you are go­ing about your nor­mal daily ac­tiv­i­ties, you are mov­ing mus­cles and, hence, burn­ing calo­ries, and this leads to weight loss. Of course, one must also main­tain a proper diet. That is why it is also help­ful to build up or main­tain strength in your core body mus­cles, be­cause the core body mus­cles are used fre­quently when go­ing about nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties — even sit­ting at a desk.

Phil Chris­ten­son, Loth­ian

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