Burning Calories Through Exercise – Not As Easy As You May Think

We all know the benefits of cardio exercise – a low to moderate pace exercise for a long period of time, usually more than 20 minutes. These benefits include improved mental function, feeling better overall, increased levels of energy, low resting heart rate and weight loss. Wait, weight loss? Can running, or any activity for that matter, really help you lose weight? Sadly, the answer is NO.

Why cardio exercise is not a good way to burn calories

Cardio exercise is an extremely inefficient way of burning calories. Most of your caloric expenditure is in the form of heat – heating up the body. That’s why sitting on the couch, watching TV will burn you about 100 calories per hour, compared to about 130 if you spent that time running or walking.

Why cardio exercise might help you lose weight

However, as we also know, burning calories does not equal losing weight and there are plenty of examples to support that. Cardio exercise helps you lose weight by improving your overall health, including circulatory system, insulin sensitivity and serotonin levels. The reason why being lean is considered attractive is because it is healthy. This often means that becoming more healthy will result in weight loss, if you are currently overweight.

Diet vs. Exercise

When it comes to weight loss, your diet is infinitely more important than exercising. If you regularly consume a lot of bread, pasta, sweets or other insulin-spiking foods, you will have a hard time burning off fat through exercise. Making your diet a high-fat one, will quickly lower those blood sugar spikes and will put your body into fat-burning mode – even if you don’t exercise at all. That said, exercise is recommended and even only the increased mental performance is worth it.

Fish Oil – Why You Should Take It

Fish oil is one of the most well-researched supplements and has many functions in the body. Unfortunately, it is now losing it’s popularity and people are starting to look for the new and shiny thing, ignoring the fundamentals, like this one. If you are serious about your health, taking fish oil is one of the best things you can do.

Recently, the frightening theory that fish oil may increase prostate cancer risk in men has been discussed on various forums. This came as a result from a research, published on PubMed, which stated that men with higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their bloodstream seemed to have higher risk for developing prostate cancer. The first obvious flaw here is that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are not necessarily correlated with higher omega-3 diet intake. In fact, the reverse seems to be the case. I’m not going to make this post all about this research, as there are plenty of people out there who have already debunked this myth. Intake of omega-3 fatty acids will not increase your risk for any type of cancer. Period.

I personally began taking fish oil a little over a year ago. After the first month, I really did start to see certain health benefits, especially improved joint health. The results from any fatty acid supplementation come so slowly that it can be easy not to notice them. It’s the same process, by which people get unhealthy and overweight – the change happens so slowly, that you don’t realize it. Meanwhile, if you woke up one day and you were suddenly 30 pounds overweight you would probably freak out.

This is the first important point – fish oil works SLOWLY. But it does work .I’ve noticed better mood, lack of mood swings, better looking skin (which my wife commented on) and most of all – lack of joint pain and about 3 times more joint mobility. Apparently, fish oil acts as a ‘lubricant’ on your joints, which is why it works so well for arthritis, as several studies have pointed out. This was enough to convince me to keep taking it and I’ve never known anyone who has experienced anything but good results from taking omega-3.

Just make sure to take a quality product with a high EPA/DHA content, which is what actually counts.