More Reasons to Exercise

I’ve often mentioned that exercise is my favorite supplement, since it has so many health benefits.  One of the most obvious benefits of exercise is weight loss, since we burn calories with exercise.  In the balance between reducing food intake and increasing exercise for weight loss, watching food portions generally gives more bang for the buck.  Why?  A half hour of moderate  exercise might burn about 200 calories or so — an amount that could easily be cancelled out with a bag of M&Ms.

Let’s not write off exercise altogether, though.  We’ve known that beyond just the calories burned in a single workout, exercise helps to build muscle — which then raises our basal metabolic rate (BMR).  A higher BMR means that our body will burn more calories all day, every day — even while sleeping!  A recent study found that regular exercise actually changes the brain, making it easier to pay attention to our body’s hunger and fullness signals.  So that portion control I mentioned earlier becomes a lot easier to manage.

Want another reason to exercise?  How about improved sleep:  side effects include more energy, greater memory and concentration, and… oh, yeah!  Easier weight loss.

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