Starting an Exercise Program

Your bathroom scale might not show any weight loss, but that doesn't mean your new exercise program is a failure.

Thousands of people quit their new exercise programs because the bathroom scale doesn't show any weight loss. But a preliminary study at Duke University Medical Center shows even without weight loss, your body is improving. Cardiologist Dr. William Kraus put seven moderately obese volunteers on a three-month exercise program, an hour a day, four days a week. If they did start to lose weight, their diet was changed to make them gain it back. He found that even without losing weight, their percentage of body fat dropped significantly, as the weight was changing to muscle. In addition, their bad cholesterol went down, while their good cholesterol went up.

"You don't need to look at the scale everyday to see if you're losing weight if you start an exercise program. You can be assured that you're gaining some benefits in cardiovascular health by your exercise despite the fact that you might not be losing weight, so don't be discouraged."

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute was so impressed with the results of the preliminary study that they have provided 4.3 million dollars for a larger study that is already recruiting new volunteers. I'm Tom Britt.