The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Just Move!

on July 7, 2013

Every so often I search terms like fat and obese to see what’s going on in the world.  Today’s search gave me this:

According to a new study from Sweden not only is vigorous exercise good for us, but it may also change how fat is stored in our bodies by influencing our genes.

Researchers asked healthy, but slightly overweight men to add three hours of exercise per week for a period of six months.  None of the men in the study participated in regular fitness activities prior to the study and not all were able to include all of the required exercise into their schedules, but on average they managed to include 1.8 hours of exercise including primarily spinning and aerobics.  Even with only 1.8 hours of exercise per week researchers still found benefits.  What is so interesting is that the participants didn’t just get a bit healthier, but researchers actually found changes in the actions of the genes which are involved in laying down fat and the development of obesity.  They also found changes in the level of activity of the genes which store sugar from the blood in fat cells.

Researchers found that exercise affected the genes by turning on or off more than 7,000 genes meaning that there were changes to which genes were expressed and which proteins were created in the cells of the participants.  Researchers hope that this work will allow them to better understand the effects of exercise on medical conditions like Type II Diabetes and that hopefully they will one day be able to create drugs which will target the same genes.

And this is where they lost me.  Well at least a little bit.

I get that not everyone can move about freely or they may not have access to a pool or may be of such a size that they cannot find a bathing suit or leave their homes under their own steam and for those people yes a pill might help start them on a path to better health, but for the rest of us, let’s not sit around and hope for the quick fix, let’s get up and move.

I was talking to my mom today and laughing that when I’m sick I suddenly want to do all sorts of active things like walk around the block and go swimming, and if only I wasn’t sick I would.  But, truth be told, if I was well I’d probably spend my Saturday bumbling around the house or sitting about with friends.  The truth is that I have to work very hard to encourage myself to get out and move about, because it simply does not occur to me to walk for the sake of walking, or get up and stretch just because I know I will feel better afterwards.  I’m just not wired that way, so my fitness is always a conscious choice, except maybe for swimming, but even then I enjoy floating most of all.  Learning that exercise may actually change how my body stores fat is a really good reason to push myself to get up off the couch and get moving and I challenge you to do the same.

– the Goddess


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