Fitness vs. Fatness

Fitness vs. fatness? Which is most important when it comes to being healthy? Well, I have good news for those who are seriously exercising but having difficulty dropping pounds.

It may be time to ditch the scale obsession and focus more on exercising, notes a fitness vs. fatness study published in the journal Circulation.

As we are working to improve our weight, some of us tend to focus way too much on the scale, which causes many to resort to desperate measures to lose weight, including strenuous dieting plans, diet pills, or worse. Of course monitoring your weight is important, but a new study suggests that losing weight is not necessarily the most important factor in extending your life.

In this extensive fitness vs. fatness study, researchers followed 14,358 men for a total of 11 years to determine the role of fitness in dying from cardiovascular disease. As you would expect, those who were more fit lived longer than those who did not exercise. The surprise? Changes in weight did not affect the risk of death or longevity in the “fit” group.

Whoa… What??? (I had to read this a few times myself…)

To tease this fitness vs fatness debate out- the study is showing us that even if you do not successfully lose weight with exercise, it does not matter. Some men in the study who exercised did not lose weight, but had the same life expectancy as others who exercised and did lose weight. Results that decrease discouragement in those who are regularly exercising but are having difficulty losing pounds.

Researchers did clarify; however, that these results do not apply to those who are obese, or severely overweight. In this case, considerable weight loss may still be necessary to increase life expectancy. Also, other medical problems associated with being overweight, such as arthritis or diabetes, may or may not correlate with your fitness level.

Another point to consider for the skinny people- just because you are of a normal weight or slightly overweight, you are not “out of the woods” so to speak. You are still at risk for early cardiovascular disease unless you are also fit, or regularly exercise.

In the end, the number one priority of exercise is to improve cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health. Consider weight loss as a beneficial side effect to regular exercise. To be at your peak level of health, you must absolutely exercise, no matter your physique.

I’m glad that we are moving towards a more definite answer regarding fitness vs. fatness.

What will you do to improve your level of fitness? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Jump into a 20-minute circuit workout (yes, today) and maximize your level of fitness!