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Exercise: Health Benefits of Working Out

Why do we exercise?

Maybe to lose a little weight or a lot of weight, to lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health. To improve your bone health, energy levels, and your stamina, or just to stay active so you’ll be able to keep chasing your grandkids.

What’s the best type of exercise?

The short answer is; the best exercise is the exercise you do! Resistance training (lifting weights, or body weight exercises like squats and lunges) is great for building muscle, keeping your functionality high (allowing you to do the things you want to do), and especially great for bone health. Combine the two and you get all the benefits, but it can take double the time.

HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training like running sprints and jogging for short intervals) seem to have similar benefits to running at moderate intensity for a prolonged period of time.
Whatever you choose to do, stay positive! Know that any amount of exercise you’re doing is good for your physical and mental health, so if you went for a walk today, great. Ran 10 miles, great. Lifted weights, great. Recognize where you’re at and decide to make a positive change for you.

But, a study out of Duke University, showed that aerobic exercise like running, brisk walking, Zumba, etc. is the best thing you can do for weight loss.

Aerobic exercise – including walking, running, and swimming – has been proven to be an effective way to lose weight. However, recent guidelines have suggested that resistance training, which includes weight lifting to build and maintain muscle mass, may also help with weight loss by increasing a person’s resting metabolic rate. Research has demonstrated health benefits for resistance training, such as improving glucose control, but studies on the effects of resistance training on fat mass have been inconclusive.

“Given that approximately two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight due to excess body fat, we want to offer clear, evidence-based exercise recommendations that will truly help people lose weight and body fat,” said Leslie H. Willis, MS, an exercise physiologist at Duke Medicine and the study’s lead author.

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