Why You Shouldn’t Exercise to Lose Weight

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to get updated on what the recommendations are on exercise.

There have been a lot of changes.

There seems to be some confusion out there, and so I’d like to share with you some things we can do to exercise to stay healthy, stay away from the doctor, and live a long, happy life.

  • First of all, there is general agreement that your goal heart rate should be somewhere between 60 and 85% of your target heart rate. It’s 220 minus your age, and then take 60% or 80% of that, and that’s the heart rate that we want you to get to and to sustain for a period of time.
  • What kind of period of time? You want to shoot for 30 minutes a day and for about five days a week.
  • And finally, they are now asking that people add on two more days, but instead of more cardio such as walking or running or rowing, you want to build in some muscle strengthening.

Any Exercise Is Better Than No Exercise

Above all else, any exercise is better than no exercise.

It’s lifestyle change. So if you’ve been a couch potato, then what you need to do is just try to get out there and walk. There’s no magic bullet here.

They recently did a study where they took people that have exercised their entire life and found that they decreased their overall heart disease by 60%.

They then took people 40 years and older who never exercised before, and once they started they dropped their overall cardiovascular risk by 40%!

So, starting at some point in your life is better than not starting at all.  

They also did a study comparing overweight people that were fit with trim people who were sedentary.

And they found that heart disease was higher in the thin person with no exercise, not the heavy person that did a lot of exercise. An example of this is overweight people that work in a daycare center lifting kids or who gets out and works in the yard all the time, versus somebody who’s thin and sedentary.


Don’t Exercise to Lose Weight.

So you can see it’s important to focus on the exercise issue than the weight issue.

So get out and start moving! Talk to me in my office if you want to and I’ll help you form a plan. Because there are all kinds of different opinions when it comes to the type of exercise to do and which ones are best. Whether you’re doing intense exercises in short bursts, or long, you can get arguments on both sides.

So whatever you like to do to exercise, just get out and do it.

And finally, remember that exercise is not a calorie burn.

For example, if I weigh a 100 lbs., I run a mile at five miles/hour then I burn 100 calories. If I weigh 200 lbs., the same thing, I’ll burn almost 200 calories. But then if you go to the Dairy Queen and get a large hot fudge sundae, that’s a thousand calories.

  • #1 exercise helps stimulate your brain.
  • #2 it’s been shown to decrease addiction, you’re less likely to be hungry, and tend to lose weight.

Long story short: just commit yourself to exercise. That’s the take-home message. It’s not real hard.

You just have to have the attitude and the determination to do it.  

I’ve taken care of a lot of people over the years and as I’ve watched them grow old, as I have grown old, the people who are physically active stay healthy a lot longer than the sedentary people.

So, you can do it if you try. Get out there and exercise. It’ll do you good.

So there ya go–that's your lesson for today!


Dr. Madsen

Leave a comment below and let me know what your #1 challenge is when it comes to exercising consistently. I’m here to help!

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Dan Madsen

Dr. Madsen is a family doctor in Chillicothe, Ohio.