To answer the question in several words – Not when you consider the big picture. Please don’t stop reading yet. There are some important misconceptions I want to talk about regarding exercise.
I have posted several items recently on food myths that I think can hamper your efforts to lose weight. The first was Should we cut carbohydrates to lose weight? and the second Does eating late make you gain weight? If you find yourself even partially believing either one, please click on its link and get the facts.
Regarding regular exercise, a friend of mine said she ran across a fitness article saying that it is not necessary to exercise to lose weight. She said it was a myth that you needed to exercise to lose weight.
Wow. What a stunning example of ‘a little knowledge is dangerous!’ Factually, the statement is correct. As a calorie counter, I can attest to the fact you simply need to cut 3500 calories from your intake to lose a pound. So eating 500 calories less each day will cut about a pound a week from your weight. You can do that without exercising.
However, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. All of us need to exercise. I reached my ideal weight of 150 pounds nearly several years ago nonetheless I exercise every day. Most days I ride my bike. But, if I don’t ride, I walk and/or go to the health club and work out.
Here is a direct quote from my page How to lose weight – and keep it off:
“According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services:
Adults 18 to 64 should get: 2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise. OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity Or some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week.”
Let me remind you that the reason you need to lose weight in the first place is because you are carrying too many pounds. You don’t need to lose weight to look better. You need to lose weight to feel better and be better – and live longer. Don’t get caught up in simple vanity as a motivation for cutting off pounds. Check out my page on The dangers of a big waistline for some cold facts about that big belly.
In conclusion exercise is optional for losing weight, but exercise is not optional for living a long and healthy life.
Be smart. Eat less; move more; live longer.