Train prolongs life even in case you do not drop pounds. Listed below are strategies when the climate turns chilly
CLEVELAND, Ohio — If you’re working out to lose weight, don’t give up even when it’s obvious you’ll never be a size 2.
Exercising can lengthen your life even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss, a new study suggests.
Regular physical activity was associated with lower death rates from cardiovascular disease and other causes, a recently published study of Taiwanese adults suggests. Weight loss was not strongly associated with lower death rates.
“Being physically active and preventing weight gain is probably more important and beneficial than focusing on dieting to achieve low body weight but remain sedentary,” said Dr. Ian Neeland, cardiologist at the University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. and director of the UH Center for Cardiovascular Prevention.
“Exercise alone can improve body fat profile, reduce unhealthy fat, and build muscle, even if overall weight doesn’t change significantly,” Neeland said.
Neeland co-authored an editorial discussing this study on weight loss and longevity, although he was not involved with the study itself. Both the editorial and the study were recently published in the International Journal of Obesity.
If this study is correct, it is important to keep moving, especially in the coming winter. Inactivity is associated with weight gain, loss of muscle tone, and reduced overall health.
Small changes, like buying a treadmill or stationary bike, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and buying warm layers and appropriate shoes for winter walks can make a difference, Neeland said.
Obesity is on the rise, nationally and in Ohio.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 35% and 40% of Ohioans are obese.
Almost 42% of Americans are obese, and the prevalence of severe obesity increased from about 5% to 9% from 1999 to 2020, according to CDC data.
Obesity is linked to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer – leading causes of preventable, premature death.
More than 100,000 Taiwanese adults took part in the study, which looked at weight loss and longevity. Physical activity, body weight and body composition were measured over a 12-year period, and the participants’ deaths from cardiovascular disease or cancer were recorded.
Benefits of weight loss over physical activity
Whether or not participants in the study lost weight, physical activity was associated with lower death rates. On the other hand, losing weight alone without physical activity had no significant effect on prolonging life.
The findings are consistent with the fact that height and weight are not good indicators of health, said Kamna Jain, an integrative nutrition health coach based in Solon.
Many people exercise just to lose weight, but that’s not the sole purpose of exercise, Jain said.
“The reason we want to keep exercising is, as this study said, it improves your heart health, brain health, digestive health — there are so many benefits of exercise,” Jain said.
How much physical activity does it take to get health benefits? Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, Neeland said.
For weight loss, you need to increase to about 225 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. It’s also useful to aim for at least 10,000 steps a day, he said.
Plan now to stay active when temperatures get cold
With fall and winter just around the corner, now is the time to start making plans to stay active during the cold season. Exercise can improve mood and increase energy, in addition to promoting heart health.
“Taking care of your health should be a priority year-round,” said Erin Troy, wellness director and personal training specialist for the West Shore Family YMCA.
If you step outside, you can also see nature in its winter glory.
“While it’s tempting to snuggle up indoors, you’d be missing out on seasonal winter highlights, such as “For example, seeing an animal scurrying across the snow-covered path, or the moonlight reflecting off the snow when you’re snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, or hiking at night,” said Rachel Nagle, Cleveland Metroparks outdoor recreation manager.
Here are some ideas for staying active in the fall and winter from Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Holden Forest and Gardens, Neeland, Summit Metro Parks, YMCA of Greater Cleveland, and YWCA Greater Cleveland.
Check with parks or nature centers in your area for additional opportunities for fall and winter fun. Although winter is a few months away, you might want to buy gear now so you’ll be ready when the snow falls.
There are many ways to train your heart and lungs while staying indoors. Buy a home treadmill or exercise bike, or dust off those home exercise machines you bought years ago and never used.
Watch workout videos on YouTube or find fitness DVDs in the library. Libraries often offer free tai chi, jazzercize, or yoga classes.
Join a gym or purchase a fitness pass at your community center. YMCA and YWCA locations also offer exercise equipment and classes.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
group fitness classes
If it’s too cold to go outside, try new group fitness classes, such as B. Spinning classes, Pilates, CrossFit, Yoga and more. Find indoor workout classes here.
Is ice skating more fun indoors or outdoors? Try a little of both and then decide. Ice rinks abound in northern Ohio. There’s the Ice Rink at Wade Oval, the Mentor Civic Ice Arena, the Ice Rink at North Olmsted Recreation Center, the Serpentini Arena Winterhurst in Lakewood, and more.
More indoor and outdoor ice rinks can be found here.
Related: Get winter sports gear like skates, sleds, skis, boots, accessories and more from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon
skiing and snowboarding
If you’ve never skied before, make this winter the winter you try skiing. Ski resorts have trails for beginners and experts and offer courses for different skill levels. Visit Alpine Valley Ski Area near Chesterland, Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Area near the Peninsula and more.
cross country skiing
Cleveland Metroparks offers hour-long introductory classes and cross-country ski rentals. Sign up for the Cleveland Metroparks’ Winter Impromptu Program notification program, which sends notifications of additional snowshoeing and cross-country skiing activities in favorable weather conditions.
All trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park are open for cross-country skiing when conditions are suitable. Bring your own skis and let your heart beat faster on flat or hilly terrain. Find out about cross-country skiing opportunities at Lake County Metroparks and Findley State Park in Lorain County and elsewhere. Places to rent include Lake Metroparks Chapin Forest and Cleveland Metroparks Big Met Golf Course.
There are sledding hills in many places in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties. Summit Metro Parks offers sledding among its winter activities.
The Kendall Hills in the Cuyahoga Valley offer family sledding, parking, a restroom and fire pit at the Pine Hollow Trailhead on the peninsula. You can find more toboggan runs here. And check out these sledding safety tips before you head out.
Snowshoes make it easier to hike through the snow and experience the wonder of a trail in winter.
It can be done anywhere or on an organized path. For example, Lake County’s Holden Arboretum offers a beautiful snowshoeing experience, said Margaret Thresher, vice president of public relations and marketing at Holden Forests and Gardens. Start with the Blueberry Pond Loop as a beginner trail, then move on to the Corning Lake Loop or Layer Rhododendron Garden when you feel more confident. Snowshoe rental is available.
Cleveland Metroparks offers a 1-hour Try-It: Snowshoeing Scavenger Hunt or a 2-hour Snowshoeing Adventure. Snowshoe rentals are available at Big Met Golf Course, the Hinckley Lake Boathouse and Metroparks’ North Chagrin Nature Center.
Rent snowshoes (free) at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ski Center, located in the MD Garage across the river from the Boston Mill Visitor Center. Snowshoeing is also available at Summit Metro Parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Lake County’s Chapin Forest Reservation, and other locations.