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Mixed Messages of Moderation

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Men's Health at 1:06 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Jump RoperDiet and exercise are two of the most discussed issues in the news. Each day brings a throng of contradictory messages: Eat fat; don’t eat fat. Embrace sugar; shun sweets. Drip with sweat; take a stroll. Exercise every day; don’t overtax your body. Any normal person would be confused and would sift through the information looking for the simplest way to remain healthy.  Unfortunately, that way generally isn’t the best. Take, for example, the moderate-exercise message. It’s widely advertised that 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, five times a week will keep you healthy. As such, everyone is assuming that a leisurely meander or a few moments of gardening will provide optimum protection.  However, that’s not true. The best way (exercise-wise) to ward off disease and weight gain is STILL vigorous exercise.  Of course, the definition of vigorous exercise will vary from person to person. Why? Everyone is different.

No two bodies are the same. As such, no method will affect all people in the same manner. For instance, when 35 men and women took part in a 12-week exercise program, designed to burn 500 calories a day, only a select few lost a significant amount of weight. Most lost a few pounds, while others gained.  They all responded differently to one regimen. If diet had been a part of the study, the same would have held true. Cutting out x amount of calories would produce dramatic results in one person while doing nothing to another. The key, then, to achieving your goals is recognizing that you are an individual. Assuming that weight loss and heart health are one-size-fits-all will only leave you disappointed. Customize your eating habits and exercise regimen to meet your needs. And, rely on your personal doctor for advice rather than the media. That way you will be healthier and considerably less confused.

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