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How Does Exercise Help Weight Loss?

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Updated January 12, 2007

Question: How Does Exercise Help Weight Loss?
Answer: When you do the math, exercise does not seem to help weight loss drastically from a strictly calorie-burning standpoint. Moderate jogging for 30 minutes burns around 300 calories. Do this about 12 times and you will burn a pound. But exercise has other benefits that aren't measured by that little computer on the treadmill:
  • Increased Resting Metabolism: Exercise has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate. This simply means that your body will burn more calories doing the same things (such as sleeping) than before.
  • Muscle Building and Repair: After exercising your body must repair tired muscles and build up new ones -- all of this takes calories to do.
  • Make Digestion Inefficient: It is possible that exercising after eating will make digestion less efficient, thereby allowing calories that would have gotten into your body to pass through.
  • Helping You Make Good Choices: Exercise reduces stress, helps you sleep, and makes you feel good. All of these reduce your tendency to eat poorly.
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