Hey everybody, I’m back in the United States…. Actually I have been back for a couple of months now, and the transition back has been interesting to say the least. For the most part it’s good to be home, but sometimes I do have saudades for the Brasilian lifestyle. Anyway I will continue to blog a bit, and hopefully reflect on some of my travels in Europe as well even if the posts have a larger gap in between. My post will probably shift a little more toward fitness and a little away from food =( but I’m pleased to say this post is the 1st of a 3 part series I will be writing for one of my classes so I hope you all still enjoy it. It pertains to both my Health Fitness emphasis as well as my Psychology minor ... Oh yeah the source for this info came from research conducted in Brasil!
Obesity is a worldwide problem that affects countries of all sizes and levels of development. It is well know that diet and exercise are things that combat obesity as well as cardiovascular problems that often accompany it. Cardiorespiratory fitness is a benefit of exercise that helps to reduce the risk of complications from obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Recent research has given a few insights on just how exercise intensity over a 12 week period can affect your motivation, cardiorespiratory fitness and those extra pounds.
1. You need to know yourself and select a trainer/program that fits you- The 2 programs had trainers supervising the workouts. This may have been to protect the integrity of the study, but it also can help as you try and stay on track with your exercise goals. The first group was instructed only to walk at an intensity that gave them a good work out, and not so intense that it would stop them from exercising on a daily or every other day basis. While the second group was verbally encouraged and given feedback to get them to workout at an intensity determined by their pre-program test. This can make some people very uncomfortable. So knowing what you’re getting into when you start an exercise program can help you determine what will work best to help you achieve your goals. It is also important that your trainer is a good match for your needs and can push you in the appropriate manner.
2. Everyone has a breaking point- Over half of the participants who were pushed to keep a set intensity dropped out of the study. Like I had mentioned before, the intensity most likely caused too much discomfort for them to want to continue with the study. Without knowing what they were getting into nor the results they would achieve, anyone could have been discouraged by this.
3. We are capable of more than we think- The participants of this study that were given a set intensity and pushed to meet that intensity achieved significantly greater improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness measured by maximal oxygen consumption(VO2max). Without this imposed intensity they most likely would have had VO2max improvements comparable to those who chose their own intensity. It all depends on how you respond to being pushed. Some thrive in this condition and other are hindered by it.
4. Exercise alone cannot significantly reduce your body fat- Based on the pre and post program measurements of a densitometer there was not a significant drop in body fat percentage (%BF) for those who chose their intensity or those who were given an intensity to exercise at, when compared to a group who did not participate in a program. However the participants did not gain any fat during the program. Some participants did lose a small amount of %BF, but this was not significant for the length of the program. It is believed that the missing piece for reduction in %BF was that there was no restriction on how many calories were consumed during the 12 weeks. So remember exercise can make you hungrier; eating the right foods is a key to changing your body for the better.
Freitas, L. G., Krinski, K., Elsangedy, H. M., Freitas, R. Q., Durigan, J. Z., Feitosa, A. A., & ... DaSilva, S. G. (2014). The Impact of a Self-Selected and Imposed Intensity on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Composition in Obese Women. Journal Of Exercise Physiology Online, 17(2), 44-52.