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Looks can be deceiving-especially when it comes to health.


When you think about getting healthy what is it you tend to focus on? For many Americans, healthy living is all about pants size. Particularly in the age of social media, an extreme weight loss photo receives more attention than an excellent blood pressure number. But what would your doctor tell you? The doctors at ALYKA Health would argue that if you’re really trying to live a healthy lifestyle you need BOTH regular physical activity (goal 150 minutes/week) and dietary modifications as determined with the help of your physician.

In fact, did you know that many obesity-related health conditions are more likely caused by low physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness rather than obesity alone?


A professor of Exercise Science from Berry College, Dr. David Elmer, put it this way:


“I think most people would be surprised that there are thin people with a really high percentage of body fat, and people who weigh a lot because they have larger muscles, even if they don’t look like it. And it is very common for people who appear healthy on the outside to have incredibly poor physical fitness. Weight loss alone should not be the focus. A person can look skinny, but may have a lot of health risk factors under the surface. It’s not about what you look like. Diet is important, but exercise is also extremely important not just for improving cardiorespiratory fitness but also for overall quality of life.”

– Dr. David Elmer – Berry College


This same idea was the focus of a recent study. Researchers were less focused on weight loss and more focused on how types of exercise could improve health of obese participants. With these questions in mind, researchers studied what happened when the obese patients added aerobic exercises and physical activity to their daily lives. In the end, they discovered that improving aerobic fitness and physical activity reduces (and sometimes eliminates) the effects of the increased mortality risk associated with obesity. And although weight loss has excellent benefits, increased aerobic and physical activity is actually better at reducing risk of cardiovascular disease than simply losing pounds.

So, are you looking to make a plan for a healthier lifestyle? If so, we at ALKYA Health recommend a balanced, well-rounded approach. Try not to focus on wellness as just weight loss or just exercise; just your pants size or just half-marathon pace. Instead, consider building healthy daily rhythms around BOTH food and exercise.

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