Preventing Weight Gain From Baseline to End of Follow Up: Evidence Based Truth


exercise equivalent to running

Do you believe that taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or public transport to go to work will make you gain an exercise equivalent to running? Many people do, but they do not know why it works. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, and not all of them have to do with health or fitness. One of the main reasons is because it takes less effort to go up or down the stairs, as compared with other forms of travel.

Exercise Equivalent To Running

A man jumping in the air doing a trick on a skateboard

Think about it for a minute – if your weight gain is the result of extra calories you consume over time, then adding exercise to your life is going to help you more than just a little. When you exercise, you will be burning off calories that would normally be stored as fat in your body. If you are overweight, you can expect to lose about a pound each month while following a workout program of about three times a week. Weight changes are fairly natural during the weight gain process.

As you follow the exercise plan outlined in the initial research studies, the runners were able to see their weight drop about 4 pounds during the first six weeks. During the follow-up weekly running distances, the runners lost another one pound. In some cases, there was no weight loss at all in the runners who kept their exercise intensity at the same level they had previously followed.

Result After Six Weeks

A woman standing next to a tree

The results showed that the runners who increased their exercise levels saw asymmetric weight gain over the six weeks. The reason the exercise levels remained at the same level during the study was that the runners were keeping their activity levels close to their baseline level. As their exercise intensity and frequency decreased, the amount of weight gained per week was actually decreasing. It became clear from the data that this simple approach resulted in asymmetric weight change from baseline to the end of the study.

After the six-week research period, the runners who maintained their exercise intensity saw a slight decrease in weight gain. The decline was less than the drop the runners experienced at the beginning of the exercise program. The decline was not significant but is likely clinically insignificant. Therefore, the researchers defined a clinically significant weight gain as a decrease in exercise levels that was not accompanied by an increase in total energy expenditure, which is the focus of most current exercise research.

Things To Know About Exercise Equivalent To Running

At the conclusion of the study, the runners who had maintained their exercise intensity saw a slight increase in the expected weight loss from baseline to the end of the study. This increase was not significant but is probably better described as a trend than a statistically significant result. The trend was, however, more pronounced for women than for men. The researchers attributed this finding to changes in body composition that took place over the course of the exercise training. Body fat and muscle weight was decreasing, while fat and lean tissue were increasing.

There was no significant difference in the exercise doses in the four groups of participants. Thus, there was no evidence in the prospective studies that higher exercise doses are effective in reducing body fat or increasing muscle mass. This result may be due to the difficulty of obtaining higher exercise levels when people are already trying to reduce fat. Either way, this did not alter the researchers’ conclusions about the effectiveness of the exercise program in overall weight loss. The researchers concluded that there was no significant difference in the effects of the exercise programs on weight loss from baseline to end of follow-up.

Bottom Line

The researchers admit that the results are not significant enough to conclude that running distance makes a difference in weight loss from baseline to end of follow-up. However, they conclude that more studies are needed to strengthen the evidence for the safety and efficacy of exercise for preventing weight gain from baseline to end of follow-up. Currently, the evidence does not show that running distance makes a difference in weight loss. In fact, the opposite is true. People that exercise to lose weight have greater success in achieving their goals.

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