Don’t be too quick to hang up your training shoes!

Shoes editIn the news this week you may have heard discussions about a strongly worded editorial published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine under headlines like “You cannot outrun a bad diet”:

Research is showing that exercise alone will not help to curb the growing (excuse the pun) obesity epidemic, and that it is really diet that is by far the biggest contributor to weight gain and obesity.

Specifically, sugar has been found to be the biggest culprit, mainly due to its metabolic effects of promoting fat storage and increasing hunger. Research has shown that carbohydrate restriction is the single most effective intervention for reducing all the features of the metabolic syndrome and should be the first approach in diabetes management.

The editorial also focusses on the unscrupulous activities of the fast food and sugary drink industries in misleading the public over the years.

So, should we give up exercise?

NO! It is still important to remember that although physical activity may not promote weight loss, exercise is still very important and offers a whole host of other health benefits.

A recent report from the UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges described ‘the miracle cure’ of performing 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five times a week, as more powerful than many drugs administered for chronic disease prevention and management.

Appropriate regular physical activity can offer the following benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of dementia
  • Reduces the risk of some cancers by at least 30%
  • Enhances self-esteem and cognitive function
  • Improves muscle tone and coordination
  • Improves lung function
  • Enhances musculoskeletal function
  • Increases bone strength
  • Reduces back pain