Everyone knows that eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet and getting regular exercise helps shed pounds, but when it comes to losing weight and body fat, diet and exercise are most effective when done together as compared to either strategy alone. A study published online in the journal ‘Obesity’, confirms this. If you only exercise, say for about 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise per day, five days a week, or then only diet – have about 1,200 to 2,000 calories a day, and fewer than 30% of daily calories from fat, you don’t lose as much as you would if you did both. The study found that those who only exercised lost, on an average, 4.4 pounds as compared to a weight loss of about 15.8 pounds. But those who both exercised and ate right saw a weight loss of 19.8 pounds. This means, you get the biggest bang for your buck by combining a healthy weight-loss diet with regular, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. You don’t need to be an athlete; walking, biking or gym cardio machines all work well. Start slowly and gradually increase to 45 minutes of activity a day, more if you are able.
Other than helping with weight loss and preventing weight gain over time, regular exercise helps with balance, strength and fitness, as well. They help older people keep active overall, which has been shown to prolong a healthy life.