Knowing where to begin when it comes to starting an exercise regime can be difficult. This is the second part to my blog last month on ‘A beginners’ exercise guide.’
What types of exercise are better for weight loss?
For weight loss, you should choose endurance activities such as jogging, aerobics, cycling, rowing or swimming. This type of exercise should be carried out at a moderately intense level and you should be able to talk without running out of breath during the activity.
Exercise for more than 40 minutes, because during the first 20 minutes, your body taps into your sugar reserves (carbohydrates stored as blood glucose and muscle glycogen), between 20 to 40 minutes of exercise, the body continues to use up your sugar reserves and starts to tap into your body fat. After 40 minutes the body starts to burn even more fat.
What if I don’t have time to exercise 45-60 minutes a day?
The NHS recommendation is for people wanting to control their weight, not for people who are trying to increase or maintain their cardio-respiratory fitness or health. There’s plenty of research to show that 30 minutes of physical activity a day will help you gain lots of health and fitness benefits.
Remember that you don’t have to get all your exercise in one session. It can be broken down into shorter periods of time and if 60 minutes is too much, try 30 minutes a day as a starting goal.
The most important thing is that you do something.
What if I am physically unable to exercise due to a medical condition?
Unless serious, it is unlikely that a medical condition will keep you from doing any type of exercise. Even people with heart failure, who used to be told not to exercise at all, can benefit from moderate amounts of activity.
People with limited mobility can often do water exercises, (sometimes called aqua aerobics) or do yoga or other exercises while sitting in a chair. If you have any medical condition, seek medical advice before starting any exercise programme.
Should I use weights?
Lifting weights will not only help you lose weight, but can also maintain the loss. Muscle keeps your metabolism fired up, burning calories, fat and glucose (sugar).
When you lose weight, up to 25% of the loss may come from muscle, resulting in a slower metabolism. Weightlifting will help preserve or rebuild any muscle you lose by dieting. Muscle also helps you with aerobic exercise. The stronger you are, the better you will be at any aerobic activity.
Weight training improves your body’s muscle-to-fat ratio (you end up with less body fat and more muscle), which improves both your health and your fitness levels and gaining muscle will help you look better as you define and tone your physique.
Does exercise help you lose weight?
Exercise alone does not necessarily make you lose weight, but it will help you to slim and reshape your body by decreasing fat and increasing muscle.
Regular exercise helps you burn calories that you during meals, helps combat muscle loss that can occur when you lose weight, builds up your muscle tissue and increases the calories that you burn, the more muscular you are, the more calories you burn.
Remember that exercising does not always lead to weight loss as muscle weighs more than fat, but your body will be more ton and slimmer and you will fit into your clothes better.
Additionally, exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress and tension and it releases endorphins, the ‘feel good’ hormones.