This is a very widely and hotly discussed topic in all walks of life. Since we are a blog devoted to metabolism let's also sneak in a few thoughts about exercise. Some of the views expressed may not be what you have always believed. Here are some facts about exercise.
  1. Exercise has lots of benefits. It is very important for health and fitness and everyone must indulge in it to the best of their capability.
  2. Exercise has no role to play in weight loss. Exercise alone does nothing to burn fat. Exercise uses energy and therefore increases the body's energy demand. You need to be able to release fats in supply to this demand. Feeding this demand with sugary and/or energy drinks will keep the fat stored.
  3. On a normal high carb diet it would take 40 days of running an hour a day to lose just one pound of bodyfat.
  4. Exercise makes us sweat. In the process, it helps immensely with detoxification. It has been observed that many toxic elements are preferentially excreted through sweat. 
  5. Athletes are not immune to disease. Marathoners have a very high rate of heart disease.
  6. Exercise doesn't provide us with more energy, in fact we consume energy when we exercise. There are other mechanisms at play for the energetic feeling.
  7. Stephen B Thacker of The Center for Disease & Prevention who conducted a study for The American College of Sports Medicine says "We could not find any evidence of a benefit from stretching before exercise".
  8. Exercise may probably reduce (mental) stress.
  9. Exercise may help to strengthen muscles & bone. Stronger muscles and bones come from diet.
  10. Exercise may help us sleep better. Again this happens due to damage to the body during exercise. We do need some downtime for repairs.
  11. One study found that the minimum amount of time required to reap benefit out of exercise was 13 minutes. So don't exercise less than that. Another study has indicated that Intensity Interval exercise is the most beneficial. In this form, the exercise needs to be paced at varying and opposite intensity for a standard amount of time. You have to go slow/fast/slow for equal amounts of time.
  12. Another study observed that exercise in the evening is more beneficial than exercise in the morning. "Metabolically challenged" persons should exercise 45-60 minutes after a light snack or meal.
  13. Exercise everyday is not required. 4 to 5 days of exercise in a week works pretty well for the body maintenance.


  1. I find that experimenting on yourself works best in most cases. Since the past month or so, I have been totally off exercising as I am on vacation and it has been too hot to go running outdoors. I plan to start dance classes again from September as usual after university hours. I have not gained any weight in the last month contradictory to what most people think that NOT exercising causes weight gain. Self-trial has helped me to understand a lot about how my body is functioning and this applies even to weight loss and exercise.

    1. Sure. Self experimentation is a must, especially with metabolic factors like Exercise. Your not gaining any weight even when you have not exercised for a month, just reaffirms what is stated in Point (2) in my post.

  2. How about the influence of exercise on blood glucose values. I most definately seem to get a reduction by doing an hour a day/ six days a week on a treadmill. I can also say that its no way to reduce weight, never worked for me and I tried hard enough believe me.Another reason that I work out like this is for a feeling of physical and mental well being.

    1. That will happen only if you are running your system on low glycogen reserves. If your liver stock of glycogen is high you will notice an increase in BG after your work out. If that should be the case, tricking your liver with a small protein snack ~45 mins prior to the work out can help to keep BG in check. Physical & mental well being are among the primary benefits of exercise.