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Does exercise allow you to have a lower healthy weight?





Peterssidan
Some people are very thin because they have anorexia or they simply don't have enough food. As we all know this can be very bad for the health.

Some people are very thin because they exercise a lot. These people also eat a lot otherwise they wouldn't have the energy needed to exercise.

Assume a person on a strict diet has an optimum weight. A weight below or above the optimum weight would be less healthy. If the same person would instead eat and exercise a lot would the optimum weight be lower (given the muscle mass stays the same)?
SonLight
I'm a little confused about some of the details, but apparently you are primarily asking about the ideal weight for a person who is exercising versus the same person not exercising. First, let me say that most of us (the people I know anyway) tend to err on the side of not enough exercise. Regardless of effect on weight or what the new ideal weight would be, most of us would be healthier by exercising a little more. Be aware that the first added exercise is more important for health than continuing to pile on more exercise. If you can choose a couple of simple exercises that push you to the point of being almost out of breath, in as little as two minutes three or more times a week, that will probably do more for your overall health than the incremental benefit of adding half an hour a day of exercise, although more is indeed better. My recommendation would be to start slow and try to form a habit which you can then increase.

</soapbox>

My thoughts are that muscle mass would normally increase due to the exercise. I don't see any way to prevent that to do the controlled experiment your post seems to suggest. I would think the new ideal weight would be higher by the amount of the increased muscle mass.
Peterssidan
SonLight wrote:
I'm a little confused about some of the details, but apparently you are primarily asking about the ideal weight for a person who is exercising versus the same person not exercising.

Yes exactly. One of the reasons I think the ideal weight might be different is because a person who starve doesn't get enough of the vitamins, minerals and other stuff that's important for the body. A person who exercise a lot should be able to keep the same weight as if starving but at the same time eat a lot of food, getting the nutrients necessary.

SonLight wrote:
First, let me say that most of us (the people I know anyway) tend to err on the side of not enough exercise. Regardless of effect on weight or what the new ideal weight would be, most of us would be healthier by exercising a little more. Be aware that the first added exercise is more important for health than continuing to pile on more exercise. If you can choose a couple of simple exercises that push you to the point of being almost out of breath, in as little as two minutes three or more times a week, that will probably do more for your overall health than the incremental benefit of adding half an hour a day of exercise, although more is indeed better. My recommendation would be to start slow and try to form a habit which you can then increase.

I agree with what you say. Most people should not care too much about their weight, unless overweight, but for people that want to minimize the weight, should they allow themselves to drop below recommended limits, e.g. BMI of less than 18.5?

SonLight wrote:
My thoughts are that muscle mass would normally increase due to the exercise. I don't see any way to prevent that to do the controlled experiment your post seems to suggest. I would think the new ideal weight would be higher by the amount of the increased muscle mass.

Yeah the muscle mass will be higher. I was mostly thinking about endurance exercise like running that doesn't build big muscles but compared to non-exercisers some muscle gain is inevitable.
mshafiq
Exercise is very good for health.I am also doing on daily basis.I love walk and cycling.Exercise has great impact on your body structure.This impact is not at once but slowly slowly you will see difference.
frenat8
Peterssidan wrote:
Some people are very thin because they have anorexia or they simply don't have enough food. As we all know this can be very bad for the health.

Some people are very thin because they exercise a lot. These people also eat a lot otherwise they wouldn't have the energy needed to exercise.

Assume a person on a strict diet has an optimum weight. A weight below or above the optimum weight would be less healthy. If the same person would instead eat and exercise a lot would the optimum weight be lower (given the muscle mass stays the same)?


Jr Rich Froning is an overweight person according to the BMI calculators. Hes also a 3 times crossfit champion since 2011.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Froning_Jr.
I dont think he is / looks so unhealthy.

But for example Fajua Singh is underweight. Also he is a 102 years old marathon runner.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fauja_Singh
He dont really count "unhelthy" according to that he had carried the olympic torch in 2011.
He has a strict religious diet and prays, also running is really good for your mental and phisical health.

Your optimal weight in my opinion is not about the kilograms or pounds you have, but how healthy is that for your body to sustain. For example sumo wrestlers live 10-20 years shorter than usual people. Also competitive bodybuilders who eat lean live shorter than usual people.

You can reach your optimal wheight by being unhealthy and you can excercise with unhealthy body too.
But if your diet is good (you eat what you need) and you work out too, you will reach your optimal weight and your highest point of health.
Vanilla
I think most of what people consider today as being their "ideal wight" would be determined by BMI. The calculus is not precise because it does not consider things such as muscle mass. I'm considered to be overweight, but what BMI doesn't see is my muscle mass, my love of exercises and my health (even when compared with people that are thinner than me). I think we should not consider BMI as an ideal measure. For me, the ideal weight should be achieved with a combination of high lean mass and WHR (mine is 72%, pretty close to the ideal WHR).
markharris
Yes, definitely I agree
mshafiq
It depend what type of exercise are you doing. Always with exercise you feel difference.
johans
that also depends on your goal.

For me i play basketball and enjoy the game while i did not notice the exercise. For me, basketball is not just playing but its part of my life already.

I go to gym but not that much compared to play basketball.
amyycooper89
Cycling .............Best Exercise ever...
amagard
johans wrote:

For me i play basketball and enjoy the game while i did not notice the exercise. For me, basketball is not just playing but its part of my life already.


For the same reason I like to play Squash and Badminton and while chasing the ball I don't realize how I exercise. Nevertheless, these sports don't really help to reduce fat and loose weight, since you don't burn fat when exercising too hard. Moderate running for 30 minutes or more is much better to burn fat, and since I do that since more than a year now it is much easier for me to maintain my weight.
loveandormoney
Peterssidan wrote:
Some people are very thin because they have anorexia or they simply don't have enough food. As we all know this can be very bad for the health.

Some people are very thin because they exercise a lot. These people also eat a lot otherwise they wouldn't have the energy needed to exercise.

Assume a person on a strict diet has an optimum weight. A weight below or above the optimum weight would be less healthy. If the same person would instead eat and exercise a lot would the optimum weight be lower (given the muscle mass stays the same)?


Your way is gaining weight.

What is the problem of to much kilogramms? The body is in a prison of exercises and so the body it protecting by itself by fat.

So do better another way?
Or did You lose 20 kilogramms already?



***
Anorexia is sick Its suffer. Its no fun. Help that poor woman. They can die with this disease.
BigGeek
As many have pointed out and I agree the BMI is not a good measure of health, it does not account for body fat percentage and muscle mass. Muscle occupies a much smaller volume per gram than fat, it is much more dense. So it is possible to be muscular and lean and not look huge but weigh a lot. I myself suffer from this problem at 6 foot 2 inches tall I weigh about 210 lbs. I actually look a little lean but according to the BMI calculation I am over weight and unhealthy. I obviously do not agree with the BMI assessment.

Skin fold tests are a little better in that it will compensate for some body fat. Best method is actually a water weight test, where you can accurately compute the body fat percentage - example a man that is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 lbs and has a body fat percentage of 22% is more than likely unhealthy where as a man that is the same height and weight with a body fat percentage of 10% is probably quite healthy.
Peterssidan
It has been mentioned that BMI have flaws and that's why I didn't mention it in the OP. Instead I tried to look at it from a more theoretical, but somewhat unrealistic, point of view where the muscle mass stays the same. The reason I chose to focusing on weight is because it's easy to measure but I think we could just as well talk about body mass percentage instead. I don't think it changes the discussion much.

Just to make it more clear what my original question was I have made this graph (remember the muscle mass is fixed).

The red curve shows how the health of a non-exercising individual vary for different body weights (body fat). The highest point on the curve is the optimum weight.

Now take the same person except that he is now doing regular exercising. My thought was that maybe this will move the curve to the left so that the optimum weight happens at a lower weight. You can see this in the blue curve. I don't know if this is true. That is the question.

Note that I'm not interested in the distance between the optimum weights on the y-axis (health). I would expect the blue curve to go a bit higher up (have better health) compared to the red curve but that is irrelevant for the question. I'm only interested in the distance on the x-axis (weight).



I haven't said what I mean by health, and how would you measure it? It could mean many things. Is it what makes you live as long as possible? Is it what makes you strong and able to do what you want to do right now? Is it what makes you happy? Is it on average for the rest of your life, or maybe it's about maximizing the minimum? Depending on what definition of health is used it might change what the answer to the above question will be. I think what I had in mind was probably to have a long life without diseases and such.

I also want to mention that Asbel Kiprop (a kenyan runner) is 188 cm and 62 kg which gives him a BMI of 17,5. He can't be that unhealthy or he wouldn't be able to do the times that he does, but of course we don't know what will happen to him when he gets old. Is this just an example of how flawed BMI is or is it maybe because he is training a lot and that makes it possible for him to have such a low healthy weight? What would happen if he didn't run but still tried to maintain his low weight? Would he become anorectic and unhealthy?
tonberry
BMI is a decent enough indicator that you'd know you're in the good ballpark when you're close to what it considers ideal, but a body's optimal weight range varies from person to person. Some bodies function better when they're lighter, some need more fat, some need more muscles. It really depends and even with best scientific equipment is very hard to measure. Best measure is to test it and see how it reacts to what and with years a pattern emerges.

To make things more complicated, this changes with time as well - I'm sure you know a person or two who were skinny when you knew them earlier in your life and you meet them later only to find out that they are now very fat. This can be caused by change of lifestyle and diet but also by the change of his/her metabolism.

It's risky to assume that because a professonal athlete has a specific weight, this is his optimal weight and he's healthy! Athletes make a lot of sacrifices and sometimes cutting or gaining weight on purpose is what they do. Many boxers fight outside their optimal weight categories because there's less competition in the one they don't feel as comfortable. Last but not least: athletes are future cripples, really. If you exercise moderately on a regular basis, it's fair to assume you're healthier than majority of them is. Don't get fooled by their muscles and endurance, they tax their bodies so much you'd be amazed. Check interview with K1 fighters to see how many crazy operations in their lifetimes they have.

To answer your question, exercising can move your optimal weight one way, opposite way, or not move it at all. There's too many factors at play and it's too individual to even try to draw a trend from this.

One thing's sure though: it's important to exercise regularly Wink
loveandormoney
Sorry I have to ask
Why are You not interested in listening to Your body but You listen to the voices of hospitals but You refuse to let Your body talk.
Why?
mshafiq
I am also agree with all these things.We should take care for fats, soda,smoking etc.
We should try to eat balance food. Lot of stuff is available over the internet about balance diet.
Exercise always help in losing waight
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