Are you or your children obese? Have you attempted weight loss? Regular physical activity has been viewed as an important part in helping individuals to maintain their weight loss. Both low and high intensity exercises are associated with increased energy expenditure, improved weight control and prevention of obesity. A positive effect of exercise on the distribution of body fat can be observed by the decrease in the proportion of abdominal or visceral fat, which is normally increased in obese individuals. When practiced during childhood, physical activity in the form of moderate workouts or sports helps children to develop a positive attitude towards the maintenance of proper health, which continues even during adulthood.1,2
Most fat is broken up daily in the body in a type of muscle known as the skeletal muscle. Proper exercise increases the volume of these muscles and regular physical activity increases the amount of fat utilization for the purpose of generating energy, which helps control fat mass. Furthermore, these skeletal muscles also utilize blood glucose very efficiently. Regular physical activity promotes insulin, the hormone responsible for blood glucose levels, sensitivity and the maintenance of blood glucose levels. Therefore, regular physical activity has been advised to prevent obesity and for maintaining body weight.3
Daily physical activity and regular exercise programs have an impact on the energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity (which helps in better utilization of blood glucose), thereby promoting weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Therefore, along with diet and medications, regular physical exercise is considered to be vital for weight loss and maintenance.4
- Bray GA. Lifestyle and Pharmacological Approaches to Weight Loss: Efficacy and Safety. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008; 93(11 Suppl 1): S81–S88.
- Fogelholm M. How Physical Activity Can Work. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2008; 3(Suppl 1): 10–14.
- Maffeis C, Castellani M. Physical Activity: An Effective Way to Control Weight in Children? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2007; 17(5): 394–408.
- Astrup A. How to Maintain a Healthy Body Weight. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006; 76(4): 208–215.