In this week’s group meeting, Dr. Tro and health coaches Amy Eiges and Brian Wiley discussed the many benefits of exercise, and how to get started or come back from a long lay off. Since Covid, the closing of gyms, parks, and exercise classes have hit many of us, but with things slowly opening back up now is a great time to start or get back to it.

Discussion:

  • The basic benefits of exercise: losing and maintaining weight, body composition, helping with glucose control, blood pressure, and other metabolic issues. Some benefits that are overlooked: exercise helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Dr. Tro talked about a study that showed that HIIT can reduce A1c by 0.5-1.5 points, resistance training can reduce it 0.5 to 1.0 and a low-carb diet with intermittent fasting can reduce it 0.5 to 5.5 points. Combining all three, one can lower their A1c 1.5 to 7.5 with lifestyle changes.
  • Comparing diet and exercise for weight loss: in 12 weeks the people that did diet and exercise together lost 12 pounds, exercise alone only lost 1 pound, and diet alone lost 10 pounds. This shows 80% of weight loss is diet-driven. 
  • However, exercise is hugely important for improving bone health, diabetes, metabolic health, blood lipids, lowering triglycerides, and raising HDL. Also, 95% of weight loss maintainers exercise daily and keep track of their weight.
  • One of the biggest reasons 95% of weight loss maintainers exercise daily is because it relieves stress and helps mentally by reinforcing using exercise for stress relief over alcohol, food, and other unhealthy things.
  • Resistance training in the form of weight lifting, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises can improve your muscle size and it also helps with bone health.
  • If you’re just getting started, the best exercise is walking — it helps build you up to do more intense training as you feel better. Start to build up the habit, go gently. Developing the daily exercise habit is an important part of the process. 
  • HIIT interval training is great. With intervals you get the aerobic and resistance components while getting the active rest that builds you up.
  • If wearing a CGM or checking blood sugar during exercise don’t be alarmed at higher reading. This is a normal response and in the long run when you’re building muscle, eventually, these numbers will be better and your body will be more efficient at using glucose.
  • If you are beginning an exercise program try and find a trainer that will give you a full assessment to make sure you don’t have any deviations that need correcting. This helps to prevent injury. 

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.