Are you predisposed to obesity? Based on recent research, here are six specific workouts that can cut body weight.
We know several factors affect weight, including those related to lifestyle and genetics, but researchers have now identified six specific exercises that appear to offer the best chance to keep your weight down – even if your genes don’t want you to.
Based on a study of 18,424 Han Chinese adults in Taiwan between the ages of 30 and 70, the best ways to reduce body mass index (BMI) in people predisposed to obesity are daily jogging, mountain climbing, walking, power walking, dancing (global standard) and long yoga activities.
But interestingly, many common kinds of exercise types weren’t shown to do much good for those who have a genetic risk score that makes them more likely to be obese.
Specifically, exercises such as cycling, stretching, swimming and legendary console game Dance Dance Revolution do not seem to be able to counteract genetic bias (although in many other respects they are useful).
“Our results indicate that by performing distinct types of exercise, the genetic impacts on obesity interventions can be reduced to varying extent,” the researchers write in their article published in PLOS Genetics.
“In subjects more predisposed to obesity, the advantages of regular physical exercise are more impactful.”
In addition to BMI, the team also searched for a more comprehensive picture of four other obesity measures: body fat percentage (BFP), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).
Regular jogging—30 minutes, three times a week — was the most efficient way to counteract obesity genes across them all. Also, based on the data dug up in the Taiwan BioBank database, the scientists indicate that the less efficient forms of workout usually do not use as much energy, which is why they do not work so well.
Specifically, the researchers observed that cold water activities, such as swimming, could make individuals hungry and cause them to eat more.
The study was able to succeed in one of its main goals, which was to show that having a genetic disposition to obesity doesn’t imply that obesity is inevitable – the correct sort of practice, performed frequently, can fight against the built-in genetic coding.
“Genetics, lifestyle factors and the interplay between them are causing obesity,” said Newsweek epidemiologist Wan-Yu Lin of the National University of Taiwan. “While hereditary materials are inborn, factors of lifestyle can be determined on their own.”
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It should be noted that not every form of activity within the sample population was sufficiently common to be included: activities such as weight training, table tennis, badminton or basketball may or may not also be useful. There was insufficient information to evaluate.
But with obesity figures rapidly increasing worldwide – and 13 percent of the world’s population now viewed quality as obese – it is evident that steps need to be taken to reverse the trend.
Being obese impacts our physiological health by increasing the danger of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and other problems; and there is proof that being seriously overweight can also harm our brains.
Studies like this recent one may point to ways of sticking to a good weight, even if the genetic cards against it are stacked. In some cases, it only takes a couple of minutes of effort a day.
“Previous studies have discovered that periodic physical exercise may blunt the genetic impacts on BMI,” the researchers conclude. “These obesity measures are even more important to health than BMI, however, few studies have examined BFP or central obesity measures.”
PLOS Genetics has published the research.