If weight loss is 80% diet, why exercise?

By on June 20, 2014

 “Exercise answers the Biological Imperative of Motion”

Exercise is essential to everyone, because the body is a biological machine that is designed to be in motion. From the internal flow of nutrients that keeps us alive, to the external form that gets us around, there is a different type of exercise for each.

Cardiovascular exercise improves the strength and efficiency of your heart, lungs, vascular and respiratory system, which generates an internal metabolic flow of water, oxygen, energy and blood to the 50 trillion cells that make up your body.

 Musculoskeletal exercise (the comprehensive category which includes strength, resistance and weight training) is any movement or activity that develops the strength, flexibility, balance or endurance of the musculoskeletal structure, or form, of your body.


Now that you know that exercise is not an option, the question is what exercises are right for you? It really depends on what your reason is for exercising, or what your focus is for fitness. What is it that you hope to get out of exercise other than a body that works right.

There are three very different reasons that people exercise, and it is important because each one requires a different duration and intensity of cardiovascular exercise and very different types of musculoskeletal exercises.

Health Fitness is for heart health, spinal health, functional mobility and motor reflexes. Athletic Fitness builds muscles and maximizes the performance capabilities of your body. Weight Loss uses diet and exercise (together) to lose excess body fat.


Health fitness has a different use for diet and exercise than people who are trying to build bigger muscles, achieve 6-pack abs (athletic fitness) or simply lose weight (weight loss). Its focus is on the proper functioning and pain-free mobility of the human body.

Cardio improves the strength of your heart, the capacity of your lungs and the efficiency of both your respiratory and vascular systems. It generates a stronger internal flow of nutrients and is clinically proven to reduce stress and make you think and feel better.

Musculoskeletal exercise improves the conditioning of your muscles, tendons, joints and bones. This makes you more responsive, and less likely to fall (and less likely to break something if you do). It minimizes the aches and pains of the aging body.


Weight loss is for people who want to focus all of their time and energy on losing excess body fat for personal or health related reasons. They want to spend more of their time cardio and musculoskeletal exercises that keep the heart rate up.

Cardiovascular exercise must be done in excess of 30 minutes to burn off excess body fat! The whole argument of duration vs. intensity has already been settled. Your body doesn’t  start burning adipose tissue body fat through the beta-oxidation cycle until after 25 min!

Musculoskeletal exercise helps in the weight loss arena by toning your muscles, which not only makes you look better, but can boost your daily caloric burn by approximately 200 calories on days that you exercise!


Athletic fitness is so focused on perfecting the performance capabilities of the body that it can often forego the health and safety of the joints. The average weight loss or health fitness minded person does not need to (nor should they) train like an athlete.

Athlete are so focused on maximizing their strength (power and confidence), balance (agility and control), flexibility (preparation and recovery) and endurance (pushes peak performance) that they often sacrifice their connective tissue and joint health!

That’s why athletes have limited careers — there is simply too much damage done to their bodies. Training should be beneficial to your body, not damaging. It is important to find training styles that will safely and effectively help you achieve your goals.


The Fitness Diamond was created to help you understand all of the various styles of exercise out there so that you can make an informed decision on your own about which form of Cardiovascular exercises and Musculoskeletal exercise will be right for you.

Remember that almost every clinical study done on people’s health has shown that both forms of exercise are beneficial and essential to the proper functioning of the human body. You will have the best chance at success if you incorporate both forms of exercise!

Good luck and enjoy!


About TheFitnessAnswerMan

The Fitness Answer Man is the online personality founded by Kevin Forrest CPT, FMS Pro Trainer and Master Fitness Trainer for the US Military. He has worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and was one of the first trainers to incorporate the physio ball into people's workouts and helped pioneer in the field of "Core" training. He specializes in movement rehabilitation and uses his experience to help clarify the confusion about diet and exercise that still exists within the fitness industry today.

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