Thursday, January 19, 2012

Exercise for the Health of It

I first heard the term skinny-fat in this Women's Health Magazine article about type 2 diabetes in young, slim women. Another term is "TOFI—thin outside, fat inside. Nearly undetectable from a person's appearance, TOFI happens when fat that would normally build up under your skin (hello, thunder thighs!) gloms onto your abdominal organs instead. This visceral fat is way worse than any muffin-top chub—it can cause inflammatory substances to affect your liver and pancreas, and lower your insulin sensitivity, putting you at risk for type 2. With TOFI, you might look slim, but your insides are behaving as if you are obese."

Yikes! The article goes on to say, "A big skinny-fat risk factor? Neglecting exercise and regulating weight through food choices alone, a behavior plenty of young women in our diet-obsessed, desk-strapped culture are prone to. Turns out, breaking a sweat is key in lowering blood sugar, because even moderate exercise causes muscles to suck up glucose at 20 times the normal rate (regular workouts are also the only way to shed visceral fat)."

If that's not enough motivation for those who don't exercise regularly, consider these statistics from the January 2012 issue of Shape Magazine:
  • Get moving for just 15 minutes six days a week and you'll increase your lifespan by three years, according to a Taiwanese study.
  • Working out boosts your energy and reduces stress. Plus a Duke University study found that 45 minutes of cardio three days a week may be as effective as prescription drugs for treating depression.
  • Research published in Circulation found that 2.5 hours of exercise lowers a woman's risk of heart disease by 14 percent.
Still not sold? Consider these 21 other benefits from Fitness Magazine. And remember that exercise doesn't just mean going to the gym. Walking, playing tag with your kids, cranking up the music and dancing around the house, skiing, and playing sports all count. Just get moving--your body (and mind and spirit) will thank you!

1 comment:

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