In order to lose weight and keep it off, you must exercise. You cannot just cut calories to lose weight and keep from gaining it back. The main advantage of incorporating an exercise program into your weight loss plan is that exercise burns calories. It gets those calories from fat which is exactly the tissue you want to shed. When you lose weight from cutting your food intake, your body primarily takes calories from your muscle tissue instead of the fat like you want. The best way to lose unwanted weight is to combine exercise and diet – a sensible eating plan for the rest of your life.
How often should you exercise to lose weight? First of all, any activity you can do to increase your heart rate will be good for you. This includes cleaning your house, gardening, or even washing your car. If you want to get really serious about losing weight, exercising 4 or 5 times a week will help you lose weight 3 times faster than only exercising 3 times each week. Frequent exercise keeps your metabolic rates higher for a more continuous time.
The most effective exercise plan is one that includes weight training to build muscle mass, and therefore help raise your metabolic rate. You also need to incorporate a cardio workout into your exercise program. A cardio workout elevates your heart rate over a sustained period of time to burn fat. A cardio workout of 20 minutes in length for 3 times per week is enough to maintain weight and good overall health when coupled with a weight training program. I would also recommend the use of a personal trainer when beginning a new program. Someone who is trained to teach you a weight training and cardio program is a valued asset in anyone’s weight loss plan.
Not only can exercise play a key role in a weight loss plan, but it can have many other lasting health benefits as well. Exercise can enhance your immune system, improve your sleep, increase your energy, endurance and stamina, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your heart, boost your metabolism AND burn fat!! Exercise can also lower your risk of breast cancer, help moderate symptoms of depression, can cut risk of heart disease up to 50% in certain individuals and can reduce your risk of arthritis! Just 16 weeks of weight training can improve your body’s response to insulin helping to control or even prevent diabetes without medication. Those same 16 weeks of training can also improve bone density in women by almost 50%. Wow! What amazing benefits for a little investment of your time each day! What are you waiting for? Get started now!!