It is well known that physical exercise plays a fundamental role in weight loss, and in a slimming process is always recommended in conjunction with the diet to the sedentary patient. For what reason?
Let's take a step back. In industrialised countries, but also in many developing countries, there has been an increasingly dramatic growth in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in recent years and, consequently, in the metabolic syndrome. The latter includes hypertension, increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, high fasting blood sugar or diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance, and is a condition often associated with an excessively high weight, which has very serious consequences on health, such as a higher cardiovascular risk. It is estimated that, in addition to excessive calorie intake and an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of increased body weight, with all the consequences that result.
Physical exercise, understood as a structured, repetitive programme with specific intensity, frequency and duration (not to be confused, therefore, with simple physical activity) plays a fundamental role in weight loss. Both aerobic and anaerobic physical exercise are very useful in this sense: the former reduces insulin resistance and promotes the disposal of fat, even before a significant weight loss occurs; anaerobic physical exercise, on the other hand, as recent researches show, is able to increase energy expenditure through the increase of muscle mass: the muscle, in fact, is one of the organs of our body that consumes more.
How should we exercise?
When a sedentary person approaches physical exercise for the first time with the aim of losing weight, it is good that he or she does so little by little, and such attention should be proportioned to the greater the weight to be lost. In particular, the first phase of physical exercise should consist of movement rehabilitation, i.e. the recovery of motor functions, and should therefore be carried out constantly and gradually. It allows an increase in energy expenditure and helps to improve the unfavourable ratio of fat mass to lean mass and the efficiency of breathing, cardiovascular and joints. Often it is sufficient to walk at a fast pace with sneakers on alternate days. Especially in this first phase, the rigor should be maximum. Strenuous physical exercise, on the other hand, should be avoided, as it is difficult to sustain and rarely lasts over time. It is essential, however, that the physical exercise is practiced for a long time to achieve good results.
It is important to remember that, if you want to lose weight, physical exercise alone cannot bring significant results, but can only support a low-calorie diet program, which must therefore form the basis of the slimming process. Finally, even when the goal has been achieved, physical exercise also brings numerous health benefits, as well as helping to maintain weight over the long term. It should therefore become an integral part of our lifestyle.
Translated by Camilla Giovanelli