1 Physical activity and dieting
There is a clear relationship between regular participation in physical activity and healthy measures of body composition and body fat. However, the number of people participating in adequate levels of physical activity remains relatively low. For example, in England just 60% of adults participate in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week (Sport England, 2016a) and only around 40% of men and 30% of women participate in sport, at moderate intensity, for at least 30 minutes on one or more days a week (Sport England, 2016b).
According to Weinberg and Gould (2015) the main reasons given by adults for not participating in physical activity are lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of energy and health-related issues. If we can overcome these barriers, participation in physical activity can provide several key benefits for our health (see Figure 2), such as maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of diseases such as Type II Diabetes (Department of Health, 2011).
Physical activity influences appetite and leads to improved overall fitness levels. In turn, higher fitness levels mean you gain advantages that benefit your weight control, due to the increased use of body fat as an energy source and the preservation of lean muscle mass. One of the major physiological advantages of exercise is that levels of fat in the blood are reduced. In the first activity, you will examine the influence of exercise on weight control compared with dieting.
Activity 1 Physical activity and weight control
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Having examined the importance of physical activity for weight control you will now look at the link between physical activity and appetite.