We often talk about the benefits of physical activity because an active lifestyle comes with so much good. Another reason we won’t let you forget about the overall benefits is to help motivate the sedentary population. Every bit of movement counts!
As you’ve probably noticed by now, this week’s roundup covers a few ways that physical activity can improve mortality risk, physical and cognitive functions, and more. First, we’re diving into a study highlighting the importance of increasing physical activity and improving fitness rather than targeting weight loss—can I get an amen?
Researchers Say Physical Fitness More Important Than Weight
Increasing fitness and physical activity levels consistently reduces mortality risk more than intentional weight loss, researchers say. According to Science Daily, the authors note that weight is highly heritable, and many people target goals by the scale rather than focusing on their legitimate health levels. "We would like people to know that fat can be fit, and that fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes," said study Co-author Glenn Gaesser of the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. “We're not necessarily against weight loss; we just think that it shouldn't be the primary criterion for judging the success of a lifestyle intervention program." The study also notes that a weight-neutral approach to treating obesity-related health conditions can reduce the harmful risks associated with weight cycling and yo-yo dieting.