|Exercise: Lose Weight, Keep It Off|
For many individuals, there are two tips on how to get rid of weight: eat less and work out more. And a variety of the two usually causes the best outcome. But what about after those bodyweight have been shed? Is it okay to cut back again on work out and get a little additional shut-eye in the morning?
Exercise Goals: Lose and Maintain Weight
First and foremost, it's important to understand how the process works. A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound you must either burn 3,500 calories or restrict 3,500 calories from your diet. Weight maintenance, on the other hand, involves balancing the number of calories consumed with the number burned through daily activities and exercise.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site MyPyramid.gov, 60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise is needed on most days of the week to lose weight or prevent additional accumulation. For people who have lost weight and want to keep it off, they may need to exercise 60 to 90 minutes a day.
Exercise Goals: Key Parts of Every Plan
Whether to lose weight or maintain, you need to include the various types of exercise that make up a balanced program: cardio, strength training, and stretching.
Cardio always counts. The cardio aspect can include anything from walking and jogging to swimming and cycling; incorporating high-intensity interval training into your cardio routine is particularly important for losing weight.
"Doing long, slow workouts on the treadmill or bike will do very little in speeding up fat loss," says Jonathan Mulholland, DC, a chiropractor, exercise scientist and consultant for the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. "The key to fat loss is hard and fast intervals. An example on the treadmill might be a five-minute warm-up (easy), followed by five to eight 30-second intervals (done at near 100 percent) with a 90-second rest period of easy walking, followed by a five-minute cool-down." Over time, increase the "work" periods while decreasing the "rest" periods to retain high results.
Strength training boosts metabolism. Whether through lifting free weights, using weight machines, or employing equipment like kettlebells, resistance bands, and stability balls, strength training focuses on building muscle strength and increasing muscle mass.
"Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the pace your body burns calories at rest," says Erica Tuttolomondo, athletic director at Rush-Copley Healthplex, a fitness center affiliated with the Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Ill. "Your RMR is closely linked to the amount of muscle you have. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and strength training elevates the RMR permanently. Even a modest increase will help burn off more fat. Therefore, adding muscle will raise your RMR and will greatly increase the chance that the weight loss (more accurately, fat loss) will be maintained."
Eight to 10 strength-training exercises with eight to 12 repetitions each should be done at least twice a week (but never on two days in a row), according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Keep in mind that more weight with fewer repetitions builds more muscle than doing more repetitions with less weight.
Check with your doctor before starting a vigorous workout regimen, significantly increasing the intensity of your current one, or have a serious health condition.
Exercise Goals: Everyday Exercise Is a Must
Ultimately there isn't a big difference between exercise for weight loss and exercise for weight maintenance. "As far as I'm concerned, they're really one and the same," says Laura Stusek, fitness coordinator for Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. "If someone is trying to lose weight, cardio and diet are extremely important. But once you reach your goal weight, you can't slack off on cardio — it's still just as critical. We have to maintain our healthy eating and exercise habits to keep the weight off."
Article source: http://www.everydayhealth.com