Exercise in the Treatment of Obesity
Increasing physical activity through structured aerobic exercise should be a cornerstone of behavioral weight loss programs. Recently, numerous scientific and popular media pieces have discounted the role of exercise for weight loss, which may discourage those trying to lose weight from exercising. However, existing data clearly demonstrate that exercise – either alone or when combined with dietary energy restriction – promotes clinically meaningful weight loss in the majority of people and may be especially important for maintaining weight loss for the long-term. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to critically evaluate the role of exercise for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Topics covered in this chapter include: a discussion of the direct and indirect influences of exercise on energy balance; a review of the impact of exercise on body weight during each stage of obesity treatment; recommendations for incorporating exercise into obesity treatment programs; the role of exercise in the prevention of weight gain; and a discussion of the challenges of making lasting changes in health behaviors.
KeywordsExercise Weight loss Weight loss maintenance Energy balance Metabolic regulation
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