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Modern thinking and research leads us to think that exercise is a vital part of any weight loss problem. But is it? On its own and with no adjustment of calorific input (what you eat) exercise has been shown by many studies to actually make some people fatter. Exercise and hunger have a complex relationship.
Your weight is an equation that includes lots of factors, not just how much you exercise vs how much you eat. There are also hormonal factors, emotional issues, psychological complications and genetics to be considered.
Many studies have shown that although exercise does indeed burn calories, it may not be as much as you think. Exercise also makes you more hungry and can lead to a compensation culture. Let’s say that you have done an hour in the gym. You have worked reasonably hard. But, feeling great and guilt free, you then go to Starbucks and have a muffin. You burned 400 calories in the gym, but the muffin contains 600. It’s not looking good. If this carries on then over the course of a few weeks you will start to get fat.
Your weight will be influenced by many factors, but the energy gap remains the most important one. This is the difference between the amount of calories that you take in compared to the amount that you expend. Exercise will make a difference, but you must also look at the calories that you are burning outside of exercise. Including more activity in your every day routine will make as much difference as working out. Being controlled and disciplined with eating is also vital.
Other things that will make a difference are the type of exercise that you do, the intensity and duration, as well as the frequency. There is a contentious but interesting article from Time magazine here.
So keep exercising, remembering that exercise is not just about weight loss. It’s the most powerful tool in the world to keep you health, happy and fit into old age. But look at all the other factors that will help to make you lighter. Put all of the pieces togther and success will be yours!
Exercise does not take weeks to start giving you benefits. It has the ability to change DNA molecules within the muscles instantly, making them fight fat. A study in cell metabolisation by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showed that the DNA within muscle taken from candidates who had just done a short and sudden burst of exercise had fewer methyl groups than before exercise. Methtyl acts like locks with our cells, preventing keys entering our DNA that help muscles metabolise fat. As these locks fall away, more fat is used by the muscles which get a boost and begin to work more effectively.
The new discovery is significant as it confirms that exercise helps the body to become more healthy in minutes.
How often have you signed up to a gym only to lose the will to go after just a few weeks? The smallest barriers to exercise can put you off exercising: the membership may seem too expensive, you may not have time, the dog may need walking and so on. But a new breed of gyms in your local park may be the answer.
In the latest part of the government’s “nudge” theory, brightly colored gym machines are being built in parks throughout the country. Drawing inspiration from the Chinese government and often located near the children’s playground, these outdoor gyms feature leg press machines, chest press chairs that use your own body weight as resistance, cross trainers, pull up bars and other bits of kit that you may have seen in the gym. These adult playgrounds remove two of the main barriers to exercise - cost and accessibility. They also enable participants to multi-task: the children can play on the swings while you do a strength training circuit, or the dog can take a breather while you do your thing (you walked him to the park as part of your warm up, of course).
These adult playgrounds are part of the new “nudge” theory that has become favoured government thinking both in the UK and in the US. This idea tries to guide people in the right direction, as opposed to bullying them, which can often be counter-productive.
Margot Bloom, 42, uses the outdor gym in Southampton. She says:
“I can do restance training as part of my dog walking routine. Runners stop to use it and bodybuilders come here to to top up their workout. In the summer it becomes a bit of a social event with everyone helping each other. I’m not fond of indoor gyms or their prices”.
The sterile nature of the traditional gym, plus the cost, commute, and embarrassment factor are all obstacles that the new gyms in the park may overcome. So give it a go. Just as working out with a personal trainer outdoors can be much more rewarding than the traditional gym variant, so too these adult playgrounds may be just the excuse to stop you from making excuses…!
To find one near you look here: http://www.tgogc.com/useagym/find-a-gym.html
There are outdoors gyms in Burnaham park and at Braywick park in Maidenhead.
A single session with one of our personal trainers can help you to get the absolute most from these innovative gyms, and a simple programme that you can do on these machines will really help you focus your time, get fit and lose weight.
Many thanks to our Personal Trainers jack and Jill who have been covering the class in the absence of Diets Don’t Work founder Adam Atkinson. Despite it being the wettest April since records began, our fun and challenging fitness class has continued with great attendance – thanks to all those who have braved the mud in the quest for improved fitness. Many said that they looked like they had been playing rugby, but still enjoyed the bootcamp. Many thanks to both Jack and Jill for covering the class, they did a great job.
If you are want to get fit and lose weight then our great value Windsor bootcamp is a great value option. Prices start from just £3 a class, and if you work hard you can burn over 500 calories in just an hour. The bootcamp combines group exercises, team building and strength work as well as a great cardio vascular workout.
It’s located in central Windsor at Bachelors Acre, and we have classes on a Wednesday and Monday at 6:30pm as well as a morning class on Fridays at 9:30. Our bootcamp mascot Wilson is always on hand to offer encouragement and support.
For more details and prices please our bootcamp page here.