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Holiday Fitness

With the holidays approaching, it is good to keep some fitness basics in mind before you devour that plum pudding. Here are some tips to keep you on track during and after the holidays.

When it comes to losing weight and increasing lean muscle mass, you can take your pick of any exercise – strength training, endurance workouts, a combination of the two, or simply following physical activity recommendations from health agencies – researchers have found.

Researchers found that all four forms of physical activity, when combined with a low-calorie diet, were equally efficient in reducing weight and gearing up the body to fight obesity by increasing lean muscle.

“Exercise advice (for obese individuals) must be tailored to a person’s ability and health, and focus on a gradual increase with levels that are safe. Current recommendations suggest that people of all ages should undertake 30–60 min of physical activity of moderate intensity (such as brisk walking) on most, if not all, days of the week,” researchers wrote.

“In fact, it is important to look for exercise interventions that can easily be integrated into daily life and that are not associated with an increased risk of trauma. Most importantly, patients should enjoy the proposed kind of physical exercise.”

The study, which was conducted in Spain, included 96 obese participants, half of whom were men and half women. They were placed on a low-calorie diet and randomly assigned to one of four groups – one that performed strength exercises only, one endurance only, one which followed a combination of the two, and one which followed physical activity guidelines.

Written by Varsha Tickoo, Community Health Programs Specialist at El Camino Hospital’s Health Library and Resource Center (HLRC). Come to the HLRC to access helpful health information and access a vast array of resources that promote healthful living!

This article first appeared in the December 2015 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.

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