Monday, August 14, 2006

Exercise: It's More Than Burning Calories

I constantly hear people complaining about how few calories are burned when exercising. For example, a 190-pound male running (at 5mph) for 30 minutes only torches 200 calories. That's about two slices of toast. To check in on how many calories you can burn doing other activities -- like backpacking, swing dancing or gardening -- visit this great calorie calculator.

No matter what you look into, you're bound to be let down. Thirty minutes of basketball only burns 250 calories. Bicycling only kills 280 calories in half-an-hour. Fifteen minutes of vigorous sex? Just 65 calories.

But there's more to exercise than burning calories. For example, a new research presented at a convention of the American Psychological Association, and
reported by WebMD, shows that "exercise has short- and long-term beneficial effects in improving brain function, slowing age-related cognitive decline, and reducing the risk of dementia."

And it doesn't take much exercise to get these benefits. In one study, just 15-30 minutes of exercise, three times a week, is all it took to protect against Alzheimer's disease.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.