Sedentary behavior adds up
A new area of focus in obesity research is trying to quantify not only how much people eat and how active they are, but how sedentary they are. It turns out that the more sitting you do the greater your risks of weight gain and chronic diseases, even if you do exercise, according to research reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Another phenomenon that has been found is that some people get more sedentary once they start exercising. Whether it’s biologically driven or it’s a psychological compensation (“I exercised today, I don’t need to go up the stairs, I’ll take the elevator.”) is unclear. But make sure you’re not slowing down. Wear a pedometer during all your waking hours and get a sense for how many steps you take throughout the day, and make sure you’re racking up 10,000 to 15,000, including your walks.
Many, many women have successfully lost weight through walking. And the National Weight Control Registry finds that the majority of those in its national weight-loss database report walking on a near-daily basis for an hour or more to help maintain their weight loss. You may need to control your diet intake. But even if you don’t lose weight, you are helping your health in myriad ways and definitely preventing weight gain. Keep it up!