The answer is that in the short term exercise only burns about 500 calories per day (i.e., 3 hours of activity). However, in the long term, exercise is one of the best long-term weight control measures.
How does exercise impact the risk of heart disease or cancer?
Exercise is associated with a reduced relative risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer and even some cancer in the elderly.
However, the actual benefits of exercise for reducing the risk of cardiovascular (heart) and cancer risk are very limited to about 5 years after starting. Exercise is not recommended during your pregnancy or breast-feeding. Exercise can also interfere with the normal development of breast-feeding babies (this may be related to the effects of other hormone changes during this pregnancy or lactation, and so exercise can interfere with the function or development of these hormones).
Some evidence suggests that exercise in the first weeks after childbirth or shortly after delivery could reduce the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth in the mother. This is the first evidence of any effect on the risk of pregnancy, breast-feeding or a child at term.
How can weight loss be harmful?
Weight loss of 5% or more of body weight results in substantial weight loss that is also detrimental to most health benefits. Weight loss greater than 5% has been associated with a range of serious health problems. These include diabetes, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, sleep apnoea and hypertension.
What is important to know about exercise:
Exercise, such as sports and dancing, increases your heart rate. Running, swimming or cycling has also been associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure. These effects are related to the increase in stress responses which occur in response to exercise.
Exercise has also been found to promote weight loss in men and women.
Exercise can be useful for weight control in the short term. This is mainly because it makes you feel, looks and sounds better. However, it can also result in a chronic problem with weight gain such as anorexia nervosa.
What are the causes of obesity?
The causes of obesity stem in part from genetics and diet.
As we age, our bodies are less able to manufacture insulin and use it efficiently. This is one of the factors that contributes to many of the problems that occur with type 2 diabetes.
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