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Fitness Isn’t an Overnight Sensation

Gina Kolata’s article, Fitness Isn’t an Overnight Sensation in the January 20 edition of the New York Times outlines what it really takes to lose weight and keep it off.

There are no quick fixes as promised by infomercials selling the latest gads and fads. What is necessary for success in weight-loss or any other health and fitness goal is commitment, consistency, patience and above all, lifestyle change. These three things are the hardest concepts to convey to clients who want unrealistic results. Unfortunately, the people with the highest expectations tend to be those that are less likely to reach their goals.

The article cites an interesting six week study that seems to demonstrate how people’s body image improves once they begin an exercise regimen. Subjects in the exercise group rated their overall appearance higher at the end of the six weeks study even though they showed no physical change. Improved body image serves to aid motivation and exercise adherence necessary for changes in physical appearance. It is also important to realize the physiological changes that lead to improvements in fitness do take place fairly quickly and lead to overall improved health despite physical appearance remaining the same.