Exercise: People find the going hard

While a combination of proper nutrition and exercise is the right recipe for weight control, most people easily abandon the exercise they began with such enthusiasm, Thanassis Michalopoulos, a pathologist and diabetes specialist, explained to Kathimerini. «Physical exercise is exceptionally important» to weight control, he said, «especially to maintain the weight achieved after a diet. If somebody exercises while watching what they eat, they lose greater amounts of fat and increase muscle mass; that is, they burn more and keep weight levels down.» Recent research has shown, however, that people trying to lose weight, especially women, abandon the exercise half of the diet and exercise regime. «They throw themselves into it with enthusiasm, and drop it pretty quickly,» Michalopoulos remarked. Both people who want to lose weight and people who want to keep their weight levels down need the same amount of exercise, «60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. What kind of exercise is a question of personal choice.» There is no evidence, Michalopoulos said, that passive exercise helps in weight loss. And he warned that overexertion at the start of an exercise regime might cause injury to an obese person. «Exercise can be done all in one go or split up throughout the day. The result is the same,» he said. There should be a gradual buildup of exercises, the nutritionist added. But people with heart problems or with problems with their joints, men above 40 and women above 50 should first see a doctor before taking up exercise.