Sunday, December 30, 2018

Yes exercise really does play a role in weight loss

David Prologo
November 4, 
The Washington Post

“Exercise isn’t really important for weight loss” has become a popular sentiment in the weight-loss community. “It’s all about diet,” many say. “Don’t worry about exercise so much.”

This idea crept out amid infinite theories about dieting and weight loss, and it quickly gained popularity, with one article alone citing 60 studies to support and spread this notion like wildfire.

The truth is that you absolutely can — and should — exercise your way to weight loss. So why is anyone saying otherwise?

For 10 years, I have been studying the epidemic of failed weight-loss attempts and researching the phenomenon of hundreds of millions of people embarking on weight-loss attempts — then quitting. Meanwhile, exercise remains the most common practice among nationally tracked persons who are able to maintain weight loss over time. Ninety percent of people who lose significant weight and keep it off exercise at least one hour a day, on average. There are a few reasons that exercise for weight loss gets a bad rap.

First, the public is looking, in large part, for a quick fix — and the diet and weight-loss industry exploits this consumer desire for an immediate solution.

Many studies have shown that exercise changes your body’s composition, improves your resting metabolism and alters your food preferences. These plain and simple facts have stood the test of time, but go largely unnoticed compared to most sensationalized diet products (change through exercise over time is a much tougher sell than a five-day “cleanse”). Moreover, many people consider one hour a day for exercise to be unreasonable or undoable, and find themselves looking elsewhere for an easier fix.

Second, the unknown. Doctors and nutritionists have done a poor job of explaining the link between exercise and dietary habits, perhaps because they often exist as separate camps.

Exercise directly changes our dietary habits, which means we actually have an easier time making healthier choices when engaged in exercise over time. Without exercise, abrupt changes in dietary habits, especially if they result in calorie restrictions, are very difficult for dieters to sustain. In addition, the longer we make those healthy choices, the more likely they will become habit.

For example, when a 42-year-old female who is 5-foot-4 and 240 pounds decides to lose weight on her own, she is likely to struggle with abruptly switching her food choices to vegetables and broiled fish, mostly because she will feel overwhelming hunger pangs (but also for other reasons, such as new onset fatigue, soreness, depression and irritability, among other things). But if we take that same person and increase his or her exercise capacity to a critical point, those choices become much easier to endure.

Third, limited capacity. Exercise originally got demoted following a series of studies that enrolled overweight or obese folks looking to lose weight who had limited ability to exercise. Asking someone with limited ability to exercise to lose weight using exercise is like telling someone to empty a pool full of water with a plastic cup. It cannot be accomplished in any reasonable amount of time. So, when you measure how much weight they can “burn off” over time, the answer is not much, because most sedentary patients can burn 500 or fewer calories a week. As a result, the shaky conclusion that exercise was less important for weight loss emerged and was quickly sensationalized.

What is missing from this logic, however, is that people can change exercise capacity. As exercise capacity goes up for an otherwise sedentary individual and approaches that of a lean person, the ability to lose weight with exercise dramatically changes.

It’s like giving the participant in our pool-emptying example a bucket, or even a hose. The ability to jog for 30 minutes uninterrupted, or ride a bicycle for 60 minutes, is what separates so many would-be dieters from their lean counterparts and accounts for most tried and failed weight-loss attempts. Moreover, once a person achieves a critical point of exercise capacity, the experience of exercise itself becomes more pleasant, and the experience can even be fun.

So, can you exercise your way to weight loss? Absolutely. Of course, abrupt calorie restrictions will result in weight loss for the short run, but it is extremely difficult for folks to maintain that restriction for significant lengths of time, and most either end up quitting or regaining lost weight. Exercise, however, is a tried and true way to make dietary changes more tolerable. Focusing on exercise and changing exercise capacity first makes it easier to ultimately make better food choices and enjoy clean living, which means significant weight loss that can be maintained over time.

Prologo is associate professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. This report was originally published on

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Visit to W.L. Gore

Yesterday, the 10th of December, Hanna Oh and I visited the Gore-Tex factory in Elkton, MD. We’d like to show you photos of our incredible tour, but photography was prohibited.

Gore-Tex is a product that was discovered by W.L. Gore while an employee of DuPont. DuPont wasn’t interested in the application and gave Mr. Gore the rights to pursue what would become a multi-million dollar business.

You’re probably aware of Cross-Tech, the membrane barrier in your turnout gear. And, the Gore product that’s in the liners of your gloves and boots.

Then, there’s sporting apparel, for skiing, hunting or whatever.

Gore has been a sponsor of the Challenge for neigh on 20 years. And, all indications are for another 20.

We visited their environmental chamber- a one-of-a-kind, where not only the temperature can be controlled, but relative humidity and thermal loads, via radiant heat and wind velocity. An animated mannequin can be used to test a whole variety of human movements while wearing any number of garments.

Other laboratories were testing abrasion or resistance to delamination or integrity for bursting under pressure.

So, a big shout-out and expression of appreciation to a company that is uniquely American with a huge contribution in industry, sport and more recently medical applications such as stents and grafts.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Challenge Advisory Board

The CAB met on the course, Saturday morning, October 27. The intention was to meet in the white tent, at the finish line side, but the group never migrated there and other members joined the discussion on the course.

John Granby kept the minutes and I'm going to address a number of the topics. We're listening and my comments will be included in the rules and procedures, as published on the official website, effective for the next season.

The first topic that I'm going to address is the concerns about the PPE as worn by some of the teams from outside of North America. We agree. In some countries, interior fire suppression is not a part of the Op Plan.

First, all gear must include liners. Period. Second, boots must, at a minimum have a protective shank and toe cap. If they do not, then loaners are available. As per NFPA 1971, a vapor barrier is an integral part of the protection. So, we see no hardship in being required to check out a pair of boots.

As far as gloves are concerned, liners must be present. Again, we'll have an ample supply for those who do not present with regulation structural fire suppression gloves.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Season Count Down

Road Crew at Work at Keiser Sports Health in Fresno
As I write this, we’re assembling the massive end of year mailing. Thousands of certificates, sorted and collated by country, with the precise postage affixed.

This is a daunting task, but it will get done this week.

Another topic that we’ll be addressing will be the recommendations of the Challenge Advisory Board (CAB) meeting that took place on 10th Street in Sacramento on Saturday morning.

There’s a number of innovations suggested and I’ll be writing about them, in singular Blogger postings, starting with my next one, later this week.

I’m also working on an exhaustive discussion of the physics of the shot mallet, adding what I hope is new insights and dispelling some myths- like the fact that the shot is not lead; that was outlawed by California decades ago.

For you loyal readers of this space, I thank you for your dedication to our sport.

In the meantime, Todd, Gunny Daly and Joey Campbell are in Freno, deep into the off-season M&R (Maintenance and Repair) that is so necessary to keep this fleet on the road.