A healthy diet is an essential part of the weight loss process, however exercise is a crucial component for improving results.
The best exercise for weight loss is the one you actually get around to doing, so we’ve put together some exercise ideas to help you shed unwanted pounds.
We recommend exercising for at least 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity (30 min/5 days per week) for weight maintenance, and 300 minutes per week at a moderate intensity (60 minutes/5 days per week) for weight loss.
Aerobic or cardio exercise is light to moderate physical activity that uses oxygen to meet your energy demands while you are doing it. It’s usually performed over an extended period of time, and helps to boost the supply of oxygen to your heart and ultimately to your brain. This type of exercise usually involves mainly the leg muscles, although some activities such as long distance rowing are an exception to the rule. Long distance running at a moderate pace is aerobic exercise, but sprinting isn’t.
This category of exercise includes classic staples such as:
- Gym classes
- Vigorous yard work
These are all good ways to shed some calories and give your heart a workout at the same time. The best thing about most of these activities is that they don’t have to be done in a gym, either; you can do them in the great outdoors.
Resistance or strength training exercises help to increase your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of energy or calories you burn each day to keep your body functioning. Weight lifting and other exercises that use your body weight for resistance fall into this category, as well as heavy gardening and carrying groceries.
So get out there and get moving! Look for apps such as the “7-minute workout,” which you can do at home in your living room. You should do a minimum of strength training twice a week for a total of 75 minutes as part of your overall program. Suitable exercises include:
- Leg extensions and leg raises
- Calf raises
- Bench press
- Stomach crunches
Exercise Can Be Fun
Believe it or not, you can even lose weight while you’re having fun. Exercises such as dance classes and water aerobics or aqua gym are popular ways to make friends, have fun and shed pounds all at the same time.
Other ways to burn calories while you have fun are:
- Playing golf
- Tae kwon do
- Playing with kids
- Walking in a Mall
Check out this chart from the Mayo Clinic to see how many calories you can burn with each of these activities.
Why You Need to Exercise
Being active requires more energy, which it gets from burning calories. By burning more calories than you eat, your body utilizes more energy from existing fat supplies and voila you lose weight! A pound of fat is roughly equal to around 3,500 calories, so that’s the amount you need to burn for every pound you want to lose. For a realistic rate of weight loss that is sustainable long term, we recommend reducing your daily calories by 500-1000. Most of the time, this will equate to 1-2 pounds of loss per week.
Your level of physical activity is particularly important if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight. Although managing your diet helps you to lose weight faster, exercise is better for preventing you from regaining the weight after you lose it. Statistics from the National Weight Control Registry show that 90% of members who lose weight help to keep it off by exercising for an hour a day or more.
Finding a workout routine that if fun, appropriate for your level of physical activity, and fits your lifestyle can be difficult. If you are interested in starting a manageable exercise regime, contact us at LMC to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.