Don't Go By the Number on the Scale

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Photo by Ben Draper

We're not crazy about the phrase, but the "fit but fat" phenomenon has gotten some major attention in the health and fitness sphere — can otherwise healthy, active folks can still be overweight? In fact, it is completely possible. One explanation is that the upped physical exercise increases appetite, which in turn increased food consumption and prevents weight loss.

In fact, research shows that overweight and active folks may actually be at less risk for heart disease than slim but sedentary people. But remember: Obesity is not the same as carrying a few extra pounds. Being significantly over a healthy weight is still bad for the body.

The Takeaway: Don't obsess over the number on the scale. While it takes both diet and exercise to lose weight, physical fitness alone can improve health.

Need to Up the Exercise Ante?

Marathon-length gym trips aren't all they're cracked up to be. It's possible to get all the exercise you need in 30 minutes or less.

Fun Fact:

While 80 percent of teens and adults watch TV on an average day, only 16 percent exercise or play sports. Oy! Hop up during those commercials for a few jumping jacks or push-ups.

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