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 Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:45 pm
A new report from the Harvard School of Public Health brings bad news for heavy athletes. Regular exercise alone isn't enough to stay healthy; you must keep your body weight in check too. There's been some recent speculation that if you were especially active, you didn't need to worry as much about your body weight or diet. However, the Harvard study found that excess weight by itself can take years off your life, even if you get plenty of exercise.

The 28 year study followed the exercise habits and medical histories of more than 100,000 women. It concluded that both weight and activity level were strongly correlated to life expectancy, and that being either overweight or sedentary independently increased the risk of death. Women who were active but obese had twice the risk of death compared to those who were both active and slender. Sedentary but slender women faced a 55 percent higher risk of death, and the sedentary and obese group was almost 2 1/2 times more likely to die early.

The full text of the study can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine.



runnerswife


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 33

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:44 pm 

Rickshaw wrote:

The 28 year study followed the exercise habits and medical histories of more than 100,000 women. It concluded that both weight and activity level were strongly correlated to life expectancy, and that being either overweight or sedentary independently increased the risk of death.

28 years of study to prove that both diet and exercise matter? Is this supposed to be surprising?


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:34 am 

WOW, They should really make these findings public.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:06 am 

Unfortunately, it's going to require another 28-year study to confirm the same thing for men, since this study followed only women.

Runner58


Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 30

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:53 am 

I find it much easier to manage my diet when I'm training for a race since it gives me a reason for doing it today rather than later, so for me, diet and exercise cannot be separated.

jab


Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 8

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:33 pm 

Good to know for those considering a career in sumo wrestling.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:52 pm 

An odd footnote to this: in the current issue of Newsweek, in the "special advertising section", there's a short blurb that cites the same research, but essentially draws the opposite conclusion: that it's okay to be fat as long as your physically fit. "Recent research suggests that a woman's fitness level might be more important than her weight."

Hmmm...


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Exercise Alone Only Goes So Far Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:27 am 

OK, but even if we assume that the advertisement's take on the study is the correct one, come on... how many physically fit fat people do you know? Isn't a fit fat person an oxymoron? What's their definition of "fit"? Able to walk up one flight of stairs without stopping to rest?

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