Increase Your Weight Loss with Exercise

Weight loss is important in the prevention of diseases and illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease and many others. Losing weight can also reduce the pressure on your joints. Losing just one pound of weight can reduce the pressure on your knee joints by four pounds; losing 10 pounds reduces 40 pounds of pressure on your knees. Less stress on your knee joints can mean less pain for you!

There are two ways to lose weight: eat a healthy diet and exercise. Daily exercise can take the form of many types of physical activity. The following tips will allow you to get the most out of your exercise program – helping you to take it to a new level and reach your weight loss goals more quickly.

Use Your Muscles 

More muscle tissue means you’ll burn more calories, says Chuck Corbin, PhD, a professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University in Mesa, Ariz. “Muscle is more dense than fat, and because it can be worked, it uses energy,” he says. Fat does not. “Even at rest, muscle is burning more calories than fat,” says Corbin. The best way to build muscle? Strength-training exercises using dumbbells, weight machines or resistance bands.

Don’t Count on Spot Training

So you’d like to lose the extra roll around your middle. Do you do sit-ups until the cows come home, or do you go for a walk? Aerobic (cardio) exercise, such as walking, cycling or swimming, burns fat all over the body. Those sit-ups may strengthen the muscles under your fat, but they won’t burn the fat itself. There is no such thing as spot reduction. If you do aerobic exercise, weight loss will be easier.

Be Orderly 

Which type of exercise should you do first – cardio or strength training? Many personal trainers recommend doing strength training first. Their reason? You’ll use your available energy to lift weights, and then when you do your aerobic exercise, you’ll be more likely to burn fat because you will have already burned through the calories taken in during the day and will reach deeper into fat stores. However, some experts say that if weight loss is your goal, start with cardio. Eric Von Frohlich, a New York City-based private trainer and group exercise instructor at Equinox fitness clubs, says, “If you do strength-training first, your muscles will be fatigued from lifting weights, then you won’t be able to do as much cardio work, which means you’ll burn fewer calories.”

Put in the Time

For years, experts have been recommending 30 minutes of activity on five or more days per week. But to lose weight, more activity is needed; the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)recommends 60 to 90 minutes per day. One study showed that people who lost an average of 72 pounds maintained their loss by exercising one hour per day. The 60 to 90 minutes can be a combination, say 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of strength training, 10 minutes of stretching and 30 minutes of household chores or gardening.

For general health purposes, experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (broken into 10 to 15 minute blocks, if necessary) three times a week. If getting even that much is a challenge for you, you should speak with your doctor about a safe way to push your exercise frequency, duration or intensity higher to spur weight loss.

Move Every Day

A single 24-hour period of inactivity can lead to a 25 percent increase in the amount of fat tissue and a 19 percent increase in the size of fat cells, according to University of Missouri-Columbia researchers who studied the effects of daily exercise and inactivity. Without a doubt, exercise and weight loss go hand in hand.

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