We tend now to think of the Odyssey as the story of Odysseus and the adventures and scrapes he had returning home after the Trojan War — while for decades Penelope loyally waited for him, fending off the suitors who were pressing for her hand. At which point young Telemachus intervenes:
Exercise has been shown to be ineffective when it comes to losing weight — dieting is a better route Photograph: A size 18 and a couple of stone heavier than ideal, she tried in vain for years to shed the extra. Every week she headed to the gym, where she pounded the treadmill like a paratrooper, often three times a week.
Most days she took the dog for a brisk, hour-long walk. She ought to have been the slimmest of the bunch: From StairMasters to kettlebells, Rosemary Conley to Natalie Cassidy, we understand and expect that The public sphere essay in shape is going to require serious effort on our part — and the reverse is true, too, that we expect exercise to pay back the hours of boring, sweaty graft with a leaner, lighter body.
Well, science has some bad news for you. More and more research in both the UK and the US is emerging to show that exercise has a negligible impact on weight loss. That tri-weekly commitment to aerobics class? Almost worthless, as far as fitting into your bikini is concerned.
The Mayo Clinica not-for-profit medical research establishment in the US, reports that, in general, studies "have demonstrated no or modest weight loss with exercise alone" and that "an exercise regimen… is unlikely to result in short-term weight loss beyond what is achieved with dietary change.
After all, exercise is still good for us. Most of us have a grasp of the rudiments of weight gain and loss: To burn off an extra calories is typically an extra two hours of cycling.
But Gately sums it up: In what has become a defining experiment at the University of Louisiana, led by Dr Timothy Church, hundreds of overweight women were put on exercise regimes for a six-month period. Some worked out for 72 minutes each week, some for minutes, and some for A fourth group kept to their normal daily routine with no additional exercise.
Some of the women even gained weight. Church identified the problem and called it "compensation": The post-workout pastry to celebrate a job well done — or even a few pieces of fruit to satisfy their stimulated appetites — undid their good work.
In some cases, they were less physically active in their daily life as well. His findings are backed up by a paper on childhood obesity published in by Boston academics Steven Gortmaker and Kendrin Sonneville. In an month study investigating what they call "the energy gap" — the daily imbalance between energy intake and expenditure — the pair showed that when the children in their experiment exercised, they ended up eating more than the calories they had just burned, sometimes 10 or 20 times as many.
Until then, the notion that physical activity might help you lose weight was actually rather unfashionable in the scientific community — in the s, a leading specialist had persuasively argued that it was more effective to keep patients on bed rest.
As an advisor to the White House and to the World Health Organisation, he drew correlations between exercise and fitness that triggered a revolution in thinking on the subject in the 60s and 70s.
Each successive postwar generation was enjoying an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and those lifestyles have been accompanied by an apparently inexorable increase in obesity.
Three in five UK adults are now officially overweight. And type II diabetes, which used to be a disease that affected you at the end of your life, is now the fastest-rising chronic disorder in paediatric clinics.
But have we confused cause and effect? Terry Wilkin, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, argues that we have. The title of his latest research is: Wilkin is nearing the end of an year study on obesity in children, which has been monitoring the health, weight and activity levels of subjects since the age of five.
When his team compared the more naturally active children with the less active ones, they were surprised to discover absolutely no difference in their body fat or body mass.
But when they got home they did the reverse. In other words, what physical activity you do is not going to be left to the city council to decide.The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought) Sixth Printing Edition.
• Suffrage Challenged the Existing Order: Custom and laws in many countries had placed men as supreme in public sphere and within the family. Deep cultural beliefs in male/female differences in altitudes and abilities supported this situation, and giving the women the vote posed a direct threat to male powers and privileges.
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