Not just any ordinary walking can reverse the effect of an obesity predisposition, because the walking must be done with rhyme and reason.

A person may have a tendency to become overweight under certain circumstances, but this genetic hand can be played intelligently by a solid program of walking.

Researchers at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Sessions have a particular recommendation.

And that is to walk briskly for an hour every day. As a former personal trainer as well as lifelong exercise enthusiast, I can’t begin to tell you how many people I regularly see walking slowly on a treadmill, and holding onto it at that.

This kind of walking (if you want to even call it that) will not produce results.

Obese and overweight people can learn to walk briskly for sustained periods — on a treadmill and outdoors. Every once in a rare while, I see a quite hefty individual walking briskly or even jogging on a treadmill.

“While previous studies have looked at how physical activity affects genetic predispositions, this is the first study that directly looked at the effect of the sedentary behavior of television watching on the body mass index (BMI) of individuals with a genetic predisposition to obesity,” explains the study’s author, Qibin Qi, PhD.

Obesity has a genetic influence in that some people are more prone to developing obesity than others, under certain circumstances: eating large quantities of food and avoiding exercise.

However, with the right lifestyle choices, one does not have to become obese.

The study showed that a brisk walk of one hour a day reduced the genetic predisposition towards obesity – by a whopping one half, as measured by body mass index.

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The obesity genetic influence was raised by 50 percent with four hours a day of watching TV.

The average U.S. person watches TV 4-6 hours a day. The irony is that sedentary people typically believe that two hours a day of exercise is excessive, even one hour a day.

What exactly is brisk walking? Unfortunately, this gets subjective. I’ve known people who believe they walk briskly, when in fact, they walk slowly. A true brisk walk is between 3.5 and 4 mph on a flat course.

However, to an obese, sedentary person, a sustained 2.5 mph walk will be taxing and feel “brisk.”

Walk as fast as you can for one hour. If all you can do are 10 minutes nonstop before having to rest, then walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes.

Don’t shuffle or putter; really walk hard, pumping the arms. Forbid yourself from holding onto the treadmill if you prefer this equipment. Increase duration over time.

Do not count the walking you did at the mall as part of your walking exercise. Also do not count walking you did around the house while cleaning it, or on the job!

Set one hour aside daily for walking, even if you must break it down into six, 10-minute sessions.

Obesity will not go away on its own. Lifestyle choices can override the so-called obesity gene. Don’t give the obesity gene power. The obesity gene is weaker than you think.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
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