DALLAS, TX (October 24, 2023) — Physical activity is critical for patients taking weight-loss medication, according to a notable new report published in the latest issue of Obesity. The study authors, who are leading obesity experts and members of Wondr Health’s Scientific Advisory Board, demonstrate that in addition to the cardiorespiratory benefits, physical activity may reduce the loss of lean muscle from weight-loss medications and improve the quality and function of muscles.
“While weight-loss medications are highly effective for treating obesity and related chronic conditions, they can lead to lean muscle loss,” said Tim Church, MD, MPH, PhD, study author and Chief Medical Officer, Wondr Health. “Lifestyle factors such as physical activity need to complement the weight loss and focus on enhancing holistic health and well-being.”
While obesity and related chronic conditions continue to be a significant public health concern, new weight-loss medications have proven to be a highly effective treatment option. To realize the full benefits of this treatment, trained and certified clinical exercise professionals should be part of the clinical care team to support holistic and sustainable health.
Clinical guidelines recommend 200 to 300 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week for enhanced and sustained weight loss. However, given the efficacy of the latest weight-loss medications, fewer minutes of physical activity may be needed. Study authors report that a physical activity target should be consistent with public health recommendations to reduce sedentary behavior and to progress to at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-intense physical activity (equivalent to a brisk walk) plus at least 2 days per week of muscle strengthening activities.
Muscle health is often overshadowed in the weight-loss conversation, but it holds a critical role in obesity care and healthy aging. Muscle mass is the single, greatest determinant of metabolic rate, or the ability to burn calories, and it supports heart health and mobility. Loss of lean muscle from weight-loss medications poses long-term health risks such as osteoporosis, poor balance, increased risk of injury, and decreased life expectancy.
“It’s not just about the amount of muscle you have, it’s about how healthy that muscle is, and a little bit of movement goes a long way in preventing and preserving lean muscle,” Dr. Church said. “Health-care providers prescribing weight-loss medications should consider physical activity tailored to the individual as an important part of a weight-loss plan.”
The clinical obesity management solution for people eligible for weight-loss medications, Wondr Advanced, incorporates personalized physical activity, nutrition, and lifestyle content. Built on Wondr Health’s proven behavior change program, Wondr Advanced improves access to leading obesity experts for 1:1 care and tailored medication management to deliver optimal clinical outcomes and control costs.
Study authors include Wondr Health Scientific Advisory Board members John Jakicic, PhD, Renee Rogers, PhD, FACSM, and Tim Church, MD, MPH, PhD.
About Wondr Health
Wondr Health is the proven leader in metabolic, emotional, and physical health transformation for everyone. Leveraging over 15 years of behavior change experience and partnership with health plans and employers, Wondr Health delivers interrelated, personalized, skill-building programs for weight management, obesity, nutrition, stress relief, anxiety, and movement that improve the health of participants. Powered by data-driven engagement expertise and personalized programming, and supported by expert content and coaching, the company’s flexible and scalable digital solutions engage populations, improve quality of life and health outcomes, and prevent and reduce the cost of chronic health conditions. To learn more, visit www.wondrhealth.com.