The importance of physical exercise

One of the effects described in many studies is the interesting role of continuous physical exercise in controlling body weight (1). In fact, regular physical exercise to control obesity has always been widely recommended. If we raise our energy expenditure by increasing our physical activity and our calorie intake remains constant and below our total caloric need, body weight loss occurs, and this loss is almost exclusively fat (2).

Treatment of obesity includes efforts aimed at reducing total body fat. In this regard, physical exercise plays an important role as a means of increasing caloric expenditure and facilitating lipolytic response in adipose tissue. The multiple beneficial effects of physical exercise are clear and have been described by many authors. In people who voluntarily increase their caloric expenditure without a corresponding increase in food intake, additional weight loss occurs. Physical exercise is recommended in all cases in which the goal is weight reduction, and is an excellent complement for sensible low calorie diets and other measures. Moreover, physical exercise is especially beneficial for individuals with sedentary habits.

The positive effects on the cardiovascular system and, probably, an optimal effect in reducing food intake and body weight, can be achieved by low but relatively constant levels of aerobic activity. The intensity and duration of the exercise should be sufficient to gently increase the pulse rate during the session, which should continue for a considerable period of time. It is important to take physical exercise at a fast enough speed to ensure that the cardiovascular system receives the beneficial effects of increased pulse rate and cardiac output, as well as maximum calorie consumption by performing exercise at a comfortable but quick pace.
La importancia del ejercicio físico
Given the many failures in obesity treatments, even sensible approaches with calorie reduction combined with increased physical activity, we recommend regular physical exercise for preventing the development of obesity and maintaining a steady weight.
  1. WHO. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. Technical report series 894. Geneva: WHO; 2000.
  2. WHO. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert consultation. WHO Technical report series 916. WHO: Geneva, 2003.