The Role of Exercise in Weight Control
Evidence exists to show that excess weight gain throughout life often closely parallels with reduced physical activity, rather than increased calorific intake. Among the physically active, those who eat most often weigh the least and are the most fit. In both the UK and USA, calorific intake over the past 80 years has decreased, yet body mass and body fat levels have slowly increased.
In terms of weight loss, the benefits of incorporating regular exercise into a weight management programme are:
Increases in lean body mass raises basal metabolic rates, meaning that expenditure of calories will rise whether the individual is at rest or exercising.
Exercise brings about enzyme changes, facilitiating fat metabolism.
Regular physical activity seems to contribute to the efficient functioning of the brain's 'feeding control centre'. 'Creeping obesity' appears to be, in part, an inability to accurately determine the balance between energy expenditure and food intake. In comparison, an active individuals control falls within a 'reactive zone' - more accurately matching food intake with energy expenditure.
There are also of course huge physical and psycological benefits of taking regular exercise.