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#HAWMC: Fitness Friday

#HAWMC Day 24.

Tell us about your how you maintain a healthy lifestyle. What is your favorite type of exercise? How do you manage fitness with a chronic illness?

I’m a day late for #HAWMC. After a week off from Pilates, I came back to a new instructor … and now, sore muscles. Writing this in bed on a Saturday morning.

This week, two posts showed up on my Facebook feed about exercise.

Exercise is good … but it won’t help you lose weight, say doctors from The Guardian. And The right dose of exercise for a longer life from The New York Times.

I think The Guardian’s title is misleading. The emphasis here really is that overeating cannot be corrected by added exercise. Can I really walk off that pizza or swim away that doughnut?




Read the editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which the article refers to here. Some salient points –

  1. Obesity rates have increased. Levels of physical activity remained the same but calorie consumption increased. So it’s all about the calories? I agree with Dr. Malhotra et al that’s it’s not just about the calories. Diet soda has zero calories but it also has zero nutrition.
  2. The editorial says that up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index (BMI) can have metabolic abnormalities. Again, I agree as BMI can be a weak predictor of abdominal fat in my part of the world. A study by Dr. Happy Araneta has shown that Filipino women had more abdominal fat than whites with the same BMI.
  3. The authors call for an end to the “health halo legitimization of nutritionally deficient products.” They emphasize that we need to change the food environment to default to healthy choices.

At the clinic, I recommend the plate method of healthy eating. If they want to do calorie counting, I suggest MyFitnessPal which includes Filipino food in its database. MyFitnessPal also integrates physical activity such that recording physical activity adds back calories to the recommended calorie intake for the day.


I think we can all agree that some exercise is better than none. Recent research discussed in the NYT article have found that 150 minutes of physical activity per week which should include 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous activity, can prolong life.


More photos with health messages in my albums at





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