Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Exercise for Stress Relief, not Burning Calories

There is a video over on Youtube showing a lecture on sugar by Dr. Robert Lustig

It's very detailed, and long, but worth watching:

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

There is an excellent idea in there - that exercising to burn calories isn't very effective. You can't burn that many with exercise (unless you're training very intensely for multiple hours).

So why exercise?

Stress relief, for one - it lowers your stress hormones (cortisol). It also strongly influences other things people need (not all mentioned in the lecture):

- physical strength

- power (strength applies quickly)

- body composition (more muscle, less fat)

- cardiovascular health

- endurance

And the aforementioned stress relief.

But burning calories takes a lot of steady exercise, and it's very easy to eat the extra calories to make up for it. Diet is the primary way to deal with excess body fat, and exercise supports it - it doesn't really drive it.

If you want to hear more with Dr. Robert Lustig, there is a short interview here done by Alec Baldwin, the actor:

Dr. Robert Lustig interview

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