Exercising = No Results??

Question markIn the NY Times yesterday there was an article on exercise and its ability to make improvements physically for some while, for others, it has absolutely no measurable effects on them. (Many of you are now thinking: Motivation. Window. Toss it right out!)

This study was done in Finland and it recruited 175 previously sedentary individuals in a 21-week exercise program. Some did weight training, some did endurance training and some did both. And the results were a little all over the place. I’m not sure what goes on in Finland on a day-to-day basis but the report states that some individuals actually became less fit. (For real?? I can’t even begin to comprehend how that happens, but I’m not one to go against scientists.) Then there were the others in the study who were able to improve their performance of up to 42% (show-offs ;)). But how is there such a broad range of results? A culprit of the changes (or lack thereof) that took place, the study suggests, is that it could be due to genetics. (Although I also question nutrition and what was being ingested during this 21-week study. If someone was walking 2 miles a day at a slow pace and then ended the day with a 400 calorie sundae, I’d have my answer as to how they actually were to become less fit. The article doesn’t mention daily caloric intake – big factor.) Instead it says that it’s possible some people just aren’t programmed to become stronger, fitter, able to reduce their blood pressure or improve their insulin sensitivity.

So what’s a genetically stubborn individual to do?

Well, you just got to keep on keeping on. The article does end on a positive note and states that since scientists don’t fully understand yet the many ways in which exercise affects the body, no one should throw in the towel and dive into a bag of chips. A good sweat does a body good, and while physically the results may not show up in the form of a smaller waistline of firmer arms, trust that there are things going on on the inside that are changing for the better.

Despite all the scientific studies and the rules that come and go over the years, (earlier this year I’m sure we’ve all heard the study that said even those who workout 60 minutes a day on most days of the week aren’t doing enough… ugh, spare me) follow your own rules and guidelines. Do  exercises and classes that you enjoy and try to eat as nutritionally sound as you can, that’s it. Basically, don’t give into the hype! Studies prove theories and then disprove them years later. While some of the information uncovered may be useful, I believe that as long as you stick to a program you enjoy and are constantly pushing yourself, you will see and feel the results. But that’s just my two cents. (Although I’ve never trained someone of Finnish decent…)

If you have any Health & Fitness questions for Anne Marie, she can be reached at am@littleblackdresspt.com.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo