Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Consistent Exercise is Better Exercise

jogging
A new study of obesity genes and different kinds of exercise finds that jogging is the best way to counteract weight gain. (Credit: By Giuseppe Elio Cammarata/Shutterstock)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

For the 90 million or so American adults who are obese, shedding the pounds might seem like an impossible feat. That’s why researchers turned their attention to those who were successful. Study participants who had lost 30 or more pounds — and kept it off for at least a year — revealed the key to maintaining weight loss is the consistency of their moderate- to vigorous-intensity workouts. Researchers compared individuals who usually exercised at the same time of day with those who had more sporadic workout habits.

Exercise-Infographic
(Illustration: Sky Pics Studio/Shutterstock)

Researchers asked the consistent exercisers to rate the following statements, and then looked for patterns to see which were the most strongly associated with how many days they worked out each week. Here’s how they ranked, with No. 1 corresponding to working out the most:

Each time I exercise ...

1. I do it automatically. / I do it without having to consciously remember. / I do it without thinking. / I start doing it before I realize I’m doing it.

2. I am in the same part of my daily routine.

3. It’s the same time of day.

4. I am doing the same type of exercise.

5. I am in the same place.

6. I am in the same mood.

No effect: I am around the same people.

How automatic the exercise was — whether exercisers were heading to the gym or otherwise working out without really thinking about it — turned out to be most associated with which participants were consistent exercisers. But, as always, correlation doesn’t prove causation — consistency of exercise could also be causing that automatic approach. Either way, it seems that turning exercise into a routine is key to weight loss.

Source: “Relationship of Consistency in Timing of Exercise Performance and Exercise Levels Among Successful Weight Loss Maintainers,” Obesity, 2019

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In