Exercise is absolutely vital for weight loss. Anyone who tells you different is wrong – dead wrong! So what exactly should you be doing? How should you do it? Is more better?
If you try to lose weight without exercising you will definitely fail – no question! Besides making you mentally feel better, exercise raises your metabolism and allows you to get results while still having a little bit of leeway with your food intake. Indeed exercise is the fastest way to improve a slow metabolism and reverse metabolism damage.
On top of all that, no matter how healthy you eat, you will not have a healthy heart and lungs without exercise. Lose weight without exercise and you will end up a saggy weight loss mess!
You need 2 types of exercise for weight loss – cardio (aerobic) e.g. walking, jogging, cycling and cross-training and toning work – where you use dumbbells or some other form of resistance to tone the major muscles of the body. Most people think of the cardio work but leave out the toning, which is arguably more important then the cardio for weight loss!
Cardio wise – 4 to 5 sessions of about 1 hour per week is perfect. If you are unfit you will need to build up to that. Toning wise – 2 good 20 minute sessions per week is perfect. If you are not losing weight (about 1.5 to 2 lbs per week) with this amount of exercise then more exercise is NOT the answer. Repeat more exercise is NOT the answer. Instead you need to look at and work on the other 2 keys – your diet and your metabolism.
Cardio exercise is about getting your heart rate up and KEEPING it at that level for the full length of the session. If your heart rate is going up and down you will not get the benefits or the results. So make sure your session isn’t interrupted! To have the level right you need to be mild to moderately breathless, so if you can talk easily you are going too slow!
The key to toning properly is to exercise each major muscle group (only takes about 8 exercises) and to do 15 to 20 repetitions for each exercise. Choose a weight that will ensure you get the ‘burn’ (muscle ache) for the last 5 repetitions of EACH and EVERY exercise. Once you have all the exercises done go back around and repeat them again.
Finally every 2 to 3 weeks you need to examine your cardio effort and try to increase it a little and examine the weights you are toning with and increase them a little. Your cardio must still have you breathless and your weights must still give you the ‘burn’. This revision is vital to make sure you are changing fitness and your metabolism for maximum weight loss results.