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The Truth About Exercise

Exercise does not burn off pounds

...but it makes you look great!

Exercise kills fatA recent study was conducted with 411 adult women with different workout schedules. Those who worked out between one to three hours a week for six months did not lose weight more significantly than those who engaged in sedentary activities. Amazing but true. Other recent studies came to the same conclusion: Moderate workouts don't lead to weight loss. Experts say that this is because exercising moderately makes us hungrier, but we burn less calories than we actually eat.

There's also a biological explanation: As with weight loss, one of the ways the human body adapts to an increase in exercise is to lower its resting metabolic rate by about 7%, according to the studies. Thus the body actually ends up burning fewer calories - anywhere from 50 to 75 fewer per day.

Don't worry about losing weight. That really isn't the most important benefit of physical exercise. While exercise doesn't burn off the bulge, "it does boost your PFF: Pants Fit Factor," says Diana M. Thomas, Ph.D., of Montclair State University in New Jersey.

"It helps reduce your waist and gives you a firmer, leaner-looking shape overall."

What's more, a dwindling waistline is a key indicator that you're losing belly fat - the dangerous fat type that's linked to health problems like heart disease and diabetes.