Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Get Off Your Duff And Lose Weight

Get off your duff and do what, you may ask?

Whatever. If you got up, you already did the part that a recent University of Missouri study says matters.

The study, which was reported by ABC news said that standing up may be more important to fat loss than exercise.

I'm always skeptical about studies like this--when my brother first told me about this article, I was thinking that what they were actually observing wasn't the results of standing, but the results of people getting up and moving. In other words, they were seeing the results of getting additional exercise.

Instead, this study was way more complicated.

They weren't just tracking results. They actually injected fat laced with radioactive tracers into people and animals, and then watched what happened to it. And what happened to it is that when people sat down, this fat didn't make it to the muscles. It just found places to gather.

Same thing when they'd monitor fat-burning enzymes. When people sat down, these went down to a mere 10% of normal. Can you imagine if your car engine suddenly became 90% less efficient?

So what does this mean for you?

It means that all that stuff you used to think wasn't really helping you lose weight, because it wasn't burning that many calories--things like grocery shopping or wandering around the mall or taking leisurely walks at the park--all those things really were helping, since they were keeping the levels of those fat-burning enzymes up, and helping fat circulate into the muscles to be burned as energy.

Personally, think that's great news. Here's to a future of a slow move away from sedentary lifestyles, and into leisurely-paced strolling lifestyles.

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