From Fit to Fat and Back to Fit…

I just returned from a fantastic vacation. Prior to heading out to Lake Michigan, I committed to a week of respite that would qualify as a mixture of spa and boot camp. Turns out, it was more mixed drinks and reading chick lit than anything that would qualify as substantial sweat educing activity. I will give myself a bit of kudos — there was plenty of leisurely bike riding, and I even threw in an actual jog on the beach for good measure.

Now it’s Monday and I’m back at it. I figured work would be a beast (true to form I have 240 emails in my box and 17 voicemails). I woke up with a start this morning (crazy dream about a bird eating the dog), and I realized that even though it was 5:40, I could still jump up and make it to spinning with 45 minutes of class left…. SO I WENT.

Halfway into my Monday (its 12:53 local time), I’m GLAD I DID! I’ve already worked my way through the majority of the emails and I’m gearing up to tackle the phone messages. Working out in the morning really sets a great tone for my day. I feel fabulous!

If you are looking for more scientific numbers than percentage of emails read, I have that too. As it happens, I came across an article this morning entitled “Exercise Reverses Effects of Inactivity”. And it happens fast…

“So you know you are supposed to exercise but you just have not been able to get it done. Take heart. A recent study showed that even after months of inactivity, regular exercise can provide a dramatic turnaround in your health.*

Few things are more disastrous for your health than lack of exercise. It raises the risk of all sorts of disease and of course you tend to get overweight or obese and excess weight is also linked to numerous diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and any number of cancers like breast and colon cancer. But you can still lower those risks by getting exercise.

In a recent study 53 overweight middle aged people were evaluated at the start of the study, then after 6 months of being sedentary, and then again after 6 more months of exercise. They measured 17 factors that can raise risk of heart disease like waist size, body mass index, cholesterol levels, and sensitivity to insulin.

During the first six months their health got worse. They gained more weight, got more visceral fat, and got less sensitive to insulin (a precursor to diabetes).

Then they participated in a six month exercise program. Of the 17 factors measured, 13 of those REVERSED COMPLETLY back to baseline levers or improved beyond the baseline.**

The benefits of exercise are so varied and substantial that there is virtually nothing else that comes close to providing so many benefits.”

So — I am by no means a scientist and my vacation experience is in no way refutably accurate empirical data — but I was sort of lazy for a week, and then I worked out this morning, and now I feel better. And you can’t really argue with feeling good on the Monday morning after vacation.

*J. Robbins, et al, “Exercise Training to Reverse the Detrimental Effects of Physical Inactivity on Cardiovascular Risk”

** Ibid

Article taken from

One Reply to “From Fit to Fat and Back to Fit…”

  1. Great post. Knowing that its pretty easy to get back in shape after a brief lazy stint should motivate us to get outside and do some fitness activities.

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