Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lose Weight Without Dieting

Two Women WalkingYou can eat basically anything you want, and you'll lose weight if you religiously take a brisk 30-minute walk six days a week, according to researchers from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

This amount of exercise is enough to trim your waistline and cut your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a common condition linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle that raises the odds of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, reports Reuters Health. "Our study shows that you'll benefit even if you don't make any dietary changes," study leader Johanna L. Johnson said in a statement.

The study: The Duke team examined results from the STRRIDE study (Studies of a Targeted Risk Reduction Intervention through Defined Exercise), which was funded by the National Institutes of Health. In this study, 171 middle-aged and overweight men and women were examined for the effects of varying amounts and intensity of exercise.

The results: They found that 41 percent of the participants had metabolic syndrome before they began exercising regularly. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of five conditions: a large waistline, high blood pressure, high levels of harmful triglycerides, low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and high blood sugar. But after eight months of exercise, only 27 percent still had metabolic syndrome.

That's a significant decline in prevalence," said Johnson. "It's also encouraging news for sedentary, middle-aged adults who want to improve their health. It means they don't have to go out running four or five days a week; they can get significant health benefits by simply walking around the neighborhood after dinner every night."

In addition, the Duke team found there was a greater health benefit to doing exercise of moderate intensity most days of the week over more intense activity just a few days a week.

The takeaway: Duke cardiologist Dr. William E. Kraus, the study's principal investigator, told Reuters, "The results of our study underscore what we have known for a long time. Some exercise is better than none, more exercise is generally better than less, and no exercise can be disastrous."

The study findings were published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Source: here

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