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The Most Important Exercise for Weight Loss


Russ on La Ruta de Los Conquistadores 

La Ruta is a soul-sappingly hard, exotically wild, 

singular journey across laughably steep inclines, hysterically steeper 

descents, through jungles, plantations, villages, 

across ecosystems and temperate zones, over volcanoes and beaches and terrain that you never quite imagined you could ride on a bike. ~ VeloNews Managing Editor Chris Case (2013 finisher) 

Russ Overy, therapist extraordinaire, is a little bit crazy. He had a blast on the hardest mountain bike race in the world. We are thrilled he came 

The Most Important Exercise for Weight Loss 

At the risk of mentioning an overused cliché, the most important exercise for weight loss is the act of pushing yourself away from the table. For weight management, how much and what you eat is far more important than the exercise you do. It’s hard for me, a physical therapist, to admit this, because I love exercise and think it cures almost every ill. But, the data seems pretty convincing: while obesity in the US went up between 2000 and 2009, activity levels for the same time period were also higher. More activity is not translating into less obesity. Why? 

One reason is that people tend to overestimate the number of calories burned with activity and then feel justified eating more. For example, your family goes for 

a 30-minute walk before Thanksgiving dessert. At a moderate pace and based on your weight, you’d burn between 100 and 150 calories. And then you’d feel justified having an extra piece of pumpkin pie at 323 calories. That doesn’t even count the whipped cream. See what I mean? 

Here’s another crushing fact: if you’re building lots of muscle mass, you still can’t eat the extra pumpkin pie with whipped cream. It’s a common myth in muscle building circles that if you’re buff, you burn lots more calories just sitting around. Sorry to let you down. And this surprised me….

back in one piece. 

Congratulations Russ! 

Insurance Update 

For those of you who had a Colorado HealthOp 

insurance plan, Cigna & Humana are both 

offering individual health insurance plans at Connect for Health Colorado for 2016. ALTA is in-network for both of these plans. Please contact us if you have questions. 

The ALTA Physical 

Therapy Gratitude List 

  1. We are grateful to work in a profession 

where people regain 

strength, fitness, 

well-being and health. We love being a part of the solution. 

  1. We are grateful for colleagues with a 

different set of tools 

and new ways of 

looking at a problem. We learn from each 

other every day and 

all in the service of 

our patients. 

  1. We are grateful to live in a town where 

exercise and health 

have high value. 

  1. And most of all, we are grateful every day for you, our patients. You provide us with 

Increasing muscle mass 

makes only a miniscule 

difference in how much 

energy you use at rest.* For 

every pound of muscle you 

have, you burn 6 calories a 

day. A pound of fat burns 2 

calories, so the net change is 

4 calories a day per pound, 

which is something you might 

get by just sniffing a 

chocolate chip cookie…. So 

go ahead, nibble an eighth of that potato chip – now don’t you feel better? 

Is there any good news? Despite some discouraging facts, exercise can make a difference in your weight. Here’s how: 

  1. Managing stress: Studies show that about 75% of us eat more when we are stressed, and exercise is a marvelous, proven stress reducer and mood enhancer. If you tend to eat more with stress, exercise will relax you and keep you from going directly to the refrigerator to soothe your nerves. 
  2. Combating boredom: How many of us eat when we are bored? You can’t see me, but I am raising my hand right now. Hum, I really don’t want to do my paperwork, pay bills, clean my closet….. okay, let’s see what’s in the cookie jar, or the refrigerator. Finding something you love to do in your free time combats boredom-induced grazing, and what’s more fun than a walk in the woods? 
  3. Keeping the weight off: Even if exercise does not make a huge difference in weight loss, it is a key component to keeping weight off. Statistics from the National Weight Control Registry shows that exercise is the one constant among people who’ve maintained their weight loss. 
  4. Better overall health: And though exercise doesn’t melt away the extra pounds, you are going to be a healthier person if you exercise. The Cooper Clinic in Dallas reported that among 11,300 women they followed for decades, those with the lowest 20 percent of aerobic fitness were far more likely to die prematurely, no matter how much they weighed. 

So there, once again, I’ve managed to find the

opportunities to grow professionally and 

personally, and to 

share in your 


With heartfelt gratitude, Your friends at ALTA 

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research that tells you to get off the couch! Enjoy an active and healthy Thanksgiving!


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