Nearly everyone who wants to lose weight wants to do it the easiest and fastest way possible. I certainly wanted that as I started my weight loss journey. I sought out all possible means to get rid of the fat other than changing my lifestyle.
So just where exactly does exercise fit into weight loss? Well, exercise provides many health benefits beyond weight loss, but is usually a crucial step toward healthy weight management.
My clients' nutrition and weight loss knowledge varies when they first come to see me. Most think they can exercise two or three times per week and lose weight, but that's simply not going to work unless you've been completely sedentary and are maybe obese. If you are obese and sedentary, any exercise at all is going to pick your metabolism up and burn more calories, which is a good thing.
However, the average overweight or obese person needs activity at least 5 days per week to pump their metabolism up. I promise, if you exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes per day, 5 days every week and eat within your calorie budget YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT!
You see, while really healthy foods provide the nutrition needed to turn fat into energy, exercise is the fire needed to consume that fat. It takes both to maximize fat loss. If you're just beginning to exercise, take it slow and get your doctor's approval before starting any exercise program.
- If you want to lose weight, you should exercise for a minimum of 1 hour at least 5 days per week. You might be able to do it with less than an hour of exercise each day, but the approach I recommend will maximize your weight loss. You may hear that you can do high intensity or interval exercise for 20 minutes 3 times per week and lose weight. If you're moderately overweight and in good physical health, this can work. However, once you get down to those last 30 pounds and you've exercised for a while and you're fit, high intensity-interval (anaerobic) training along with aerobic and muscle-building exercise is needed to remove the remaining fat.
- Exercising multiple times per day is very beneficial. Three 20-minute walks will keep your metabolism going longer than walking for one hour.
- Vary your exercise intensity. If walking, take 30 seconds and walk at a faster pace, then walk at your normal pace for a few minutes, then repeat throughout the walk. This also applies to other types of exercise, like bicycling or running. You can also increase your intensity by selecting routes that have hills for you to walk, run, or bike on.
- Do different types of exercise at different times. Our body adapts to our routines very quickly and will become very efficient. Keep your body guessing by doing your exercise at different times or do a different type of exercise each time.
- To maximize your weight loss, you need to engage in aerobic, anaerobic and muscle-building and toning exercises.
- Many people are turning to cross fit exercise programs. Cross fit includes a variety of exercises that promote a broader range of fitness and help reduce the risk of injury from exercise.
- My favorite exercise is bicycling. You can make bicycling as intense or as leisurely as you want. It's the perfect exercise (in my opinion) because it's very low impact on the joints, it can provide aerobic, anaerobic and strength training all in one session, it can be done every day, and it's fun with friends and family!
Exercise can be so fun that you can overdo it. Pace yourself, drink adequate fluids with electrolytes and get plenty of rest in between exercise activities.
All exercise is good exercise. Do different exercises and make them fun and enjoyable.
Healthy Wishes for Lighter and Healthier Bodies