Both obesity and physical inactivity are global health problems responsible for the risk increment of non-communicable diseases. Obese individuals usually cannot perform the recommended level of physical activity because of their low physical fitness and comorbidities. The purpose of this chapter is summarizing and evaluating the effects of physical activity on obesity. The author also focuses on the association between non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and obesity. The author has reviewed 13 systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of physical activity on obesity. Exercise is essential for the management of obesity. However, exercise alone is not sufficient for long-term weight loss and improving cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Diet seems to be more effective for treating obesity than exercise. On the other hand, exercise improves cardiorespiratory fitness and skeletal muscle fitness, which leads to prevent sarcopenic obesity in the elderly. Exercise therapy should be performed in conjunction with diet therapy to improve obesity. NEAT is the main determinant of variability in daily energy expenditure, which considerably contributes to weight change in humans. The current evidence regarding NEAT is limited; however, NEAT appears to be effective for the management of metabolic diseases as well as weight loss. To reveal the optimal mode of physical activity and to elucidate the effects of NEAT on health beyond weight lowering, further well-designed studies are warranted.
Part of the book: Adiposity
Skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function decline with aging are the symptoms that characterize sarcopenia, which has become a significant problem in aging societies. Aging is also associated with arterial stiffness and autonomic nervous dysfunction, leading to increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Resistance training (RT) is effective for improving muscle fitness in older individuals as well as young healthy individuals. However, the effects of RT on autonomic nervous function (ANF) in the elderly have not been fully elucidated. The author reviewed the current evidence regarding RT and ANF in older individuals. Whole-body, high-intensity or progressive RT had either no effect on ANF or perhaps an unfavorable effect on ANF. On the other hand, local isometric, moderate-intensity RT may have a beneficial effect on ANF in older individuals. The combination of RT and aerobic exercise had a favorable effect on ANF in older patients with comorbidities. However, the optimal intensity, frequency, and duration of RT for improving ANF in older individuals remain unknown. Further studies with a large number of subjects are warranted.
Part of the book: Fitness Medicine