New research suggests cruciferous veggies may have an unexpected new benefit. They could help boost immunity and protect the body from intestinal ailments.
Can People Really Be “Fit and Fat?”
Ever watch someone bench press a ridiculous amount of weight but not look quite like this? Or hit the gym every day and still have a beer belly? It’s not an illusion— some people can be in shape even if they don’t quite look the part. In fact, those who are less-than-ripped but still fit may have a lesser risk for cardiovascular disease than their skinny-but-sedentary peers.
(Over)weight Lifting — Why It Matters
It may sound like a paradox, but a small percentage
of U.S. adults are both in shape but overweight . And unfortunately, a gym membership isn’t necessarily the secret to weight loss. People can frequent yoga classes, cardio machines, and CrossFit boxes and still carry some unwanted pounds.
Wait, what? While it may seem that the scale gets stubbornly stuck, all that exercising may be fueling an appetite that leads to consuming too many calories. Another common setback: Doing the same workout over and over may no longer challenge the body.
But what’s on the scale may not be the most important factor when measuring good health. Scientists suggest lack of exercise might raise the risk of heart disease more than excess body fat. In one study with 906 women, researchers found that participants with lower levels of fitness showed a clearer connection to cardiovascular problems than those who were overweight (measured by BMI) . The takeaway? Fitness capacity may be more critical than body mass index to prevent heart disease risk.
Chubby Competition — The Answer/Debate
Many studies have shown a positive correlation between working out and better overall health  . Yet, regular exercise isn’t the only answer to dodging every health risk. If we (literally) tip the scale despite being a total gym rat, it’s a good idea to try shedding some excess pounds— through plan B. It’s never too late to clean up that diet, since obesity may lead to cardiovascular problems .
The big-bottomed line? Even if we’re exercising, we can still carry some extra baggage. Exercise burns calories, but at the end of the day, stay mindful of how many calories are taken in, or if that workout regimen needs some variation. And remember, being fit isn’t all about appearances, and the benefits of working out are more than skin deep.
Do you usually equate being fit with appearance? Would you ever work with a personal trainer that was overweight? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo by Ben Draper
This article has been read and approved by Greatist Expert Vicki Vara.
- The "fit but fat" concept revisited: population-based estimates using NHANES. Duncan, G.E. Department of Epidemiology, Nutritional Sciences Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2010 May 24;7:47.⤴
- Being fit is more important than being fat for women and heart disease. Spurgeon, D. British Medical Journal, 2004 September 18; 329(7467): 644.⤴
- Physical inactivity and mortality risk. Kokkinos, P, Sheriff, H, Kheirbek, R. Cardiology Department, Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC. Cardiology Research and Practice, 2011 Jan 20;2011:924945.⤴
- Physical inactivity and mortality risk. Kokkinos, P, Sheriff, H., Kheirbek, R. Cardiology Department, Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC. Cardiology Research and Practice, 2011 Jan 20;2011:924945.⤴
- The impact of obesity on cardiovascular disease risk factors and subclinical vascular disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Burke, G.L., Bertoni, A.G., Shea, S., et al. Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2008 May 12;168(9):928-35.⤴