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Fitness and Weight Loss Go Together

Dr Jeremy Sims MB BS MSc MRCGP FRIPH FRSH PGDipHI DipN&H MRNT

If you ever needed evidence that keeping fit / becoming fitter is important for your overall health if you are overweight, then two pieces of research published recently tell it all.

Research No. 1 studying the use of overweight and general fitness as predictors of future death in women, concluded that looking just at fatness as a predictor of mortality risk may very well be misleading, unless cardiovascular fitness is also taken into account. In other words, of course it is important to lose weight to reduce your chances of health problems - but that is not all. It is also vital to ensure fitness of your heart. And the only way to achieve this is through good healthy physical exercise on a regular basis.

In the second research study, this time examining the male population, 9,136 overweight men with no previous history of heart disease, were followed up for at least three years. Individual physical activity and any deaths amongst the group were recorded. The study's results showed that for overweight men the level of physical fitness was directly related to the risk of death from any cause. Even if you were overweight you could greatly reduce your risk of ill-health by improving and maintaining fitness levels.

So, the take home message from these research studies? If you want to maintain your health, physical exercise is just as important as controlling your weight. Indeed, it may be even more essential if you are overweight. Exercise not only aids in helping you to lose and maintain a healthy weight, it also substantially reduces your risk of future disease such as heart disease, osteoarthritis and diabetes, and aids mood and self-esteem.

Why not think about how you can improve your fitness levels over the coming weeks. In the words of a well-known grocery chain, "Every little helps"!

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Further Information

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