Importance of Weight Loss and Exercise
Carrying around too much weight feels uncomfortable, and it can
also damage your health. According the Centers of Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States
in recent years. As of 2010, more than one-third of American adults were
considered obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Body
mass is derived by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared, and then
multiplying the result by 703 (weight (lb) / [height (in)] 2 x 703). You can
calculate your body mass by following these three steps:
- Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
- Calculate your height in inches squared.
- Divide the resulting number from step 1 by the
resulting number in step 3.
Obesity can lead to a number of serious health problems,
including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer.
One method that can help a person lose weight is to limit the
number of calories taken in through their diet. The other way is to burn extra
calories with exercise.
of Exercise vs. Diet
Combining exercise with a healthy diet is a more effective way to
lose weight than depending on calorie restriction alone. Exercise can prevent
or even reverse the effects of certain diseases. Exercise lowers blood pressure
and cholesterol, which may prevent a heart attack.
In addition, if you exercise, you lower your risk of developing
certain types of cancers such as colon and breast cancer. Exercise is also
known to help contribute to a sense of confidence and well-being, thus possibly
lowering rates of anxiety and depression.
Exercise is helpful for weight loss and maintaining weight loss. Exercise can increase metabolism, or how many
calories you burn in a day. It can also help you maintain and increase lean
body mass, which also helps increase number of calories you burn each day.
Much Exercise Is Needed for Weight Loss?
To reap the health benefits of exercise, it is recommended that
you to perform some form of aerobic exercise at least three times a week for a
minimum of 20 minutes per session. However, more than 20 minutes is better if
you want to actually lose weight. Incorporating just 15 minutes of moderate
exercise — such as walking one mile — on a daily basis will burn up to 100
extra calories (assuming you don’t consume excess calories in your diet
afterwards). Burning 700 calories a week can equals 10 lbs. of weight loss over
the course of a year.
Your Target Heart Rate
To receive all of the health benefits of exercise, you’ll need to
mix in some higher intensity exercises.
To get an idea of how hard you are working, you can check your heart
rate. The basic formula for determining your target heart rate is to subtract
your age from 220 and then calculate 60 to 80 percent of that number.
Talk to a trainer or your healthcare team to help you determine
your best intensity for each workout. Those with special health concerns such
as an injury, diabetes, or a heart condition should consult a physician before
beginning any fitness program.
Are Some Examples of the Different Types of Exercise?
The type of exercise you choose for weight loss doesn’t matter as
much as whether or not you’re doing it. That’s why experts recommend you pick
exercises you enjoy, so that you’ll stick to a regular routine.
No matter what exercise program you implement, it should include
some form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Aerobic exercises get your
heart rate up and your blood pumping. Aerobic exercises may include walking,
jogging, cycling, swimming, and dancing. You can also work out on a fitness
machine such as a treadmill, elliptical, or stair stepper.
A big advantage of working out with weights is that, in addition
to shedding fat, you’ll build muscle. Muscle, in turn, burns calories. Talk
about a healthy feedback loop! Experts recommend working all the major muscle
groups three times per week. This includes:
Yoga is not as intense as other types of exercise, but it can
help you lose weight in other ways, according to a recent study by researchers
at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The study found that people who practice
yoga are more mindful about what they eat and, therefore, less likely to be
Exercise Into Your Lifestyle
The total amount of exercise you engage in during a day matters
more than whether or not you do it in a single session. That’s why small
changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in your waistline.
Healthy lifestyle habits to consider include:
- walking or riding your bike to work or while
- taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- parking farther away from destinations and
walking the remaining distance
and the Amount of Calories They Burn
The average adult male who doesn’t exercise requires
approximately 2,200 calories a day to maintain his average weight. A female
needs about 1,800 calories to maintain her weight.
The following list contains common activities and the approximate
amount of calories burned per hour:
playing baseball, golf, or cleaning the house
240 to 300
brisk walking, biking, dancing, or gardening
370 to 460
playing football, jogging (at a nine-minute-mile pace), or
580 to 730
skiing, racquetball, or running (at a seven-minute-mile pace)
740 to 920
Before You Start an Exercise Program
Talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program,
especially if you are planning on doing vigorous exercise. This is especially important if you have:
- heart disease
- lung disease
- kidney disease
People who have been very inactive for the recent months, who are
overweight, or have recently quit smoking should also talk to their doctors
before staring a new exercise program.
When you are first starting a new exercise program, it’s
important to pay attention to the signals your body is giving you. You should
push yourself, so that your fitness level improves. However, pushing yourself
too hard can cause you to injure yourself. Stop exercising if you start to experience
pain or shortness of breath.