Exercise and Weight Loss – Is There a Connection?

To lose weight, the calories burned need to be greater than what are consumed. Exercise can help you shed excess pounds by burning off extra calories. It’s important to find an activity that you will enjoy and fits easily into your lifestyle, so you can sustain it over the long term. In this article, we will take a closer look at the connection between exercise and weight loss.

Cardio Helps You Burn Calories and Fat

Woman JoggingAerobic exercise or cardio is one of the best types of exercise for weight loss. Examples include running, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. Cardio doesn’t have a major impact on muscle mass, but it’s very effective at burning calories.

Studies show aerobic exercise can help people burn fat, especially belly fat that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Adding cardio to your lifestyle is great for weight management and improving metabolic health.

Lifting Weights Helps You Burn Calories Around the Clock

DumbbellsAll types of physical activity can burn calories. However, resistance training (such as lifting weights) has benefits that go beyond that. It increases strength, tone, and the amount of muscle you have.

Higher amounts of muscle increase metabolism, helping you burn calories around the clock – even at rest. Doing some form of resistance training is a crucial addition to an effective weight loss plan. It will make it easier to keep the weight off.

Think Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss

Fat LossExercise is often recommended for weight loss, but to be more accurate, what you should really aim for is fat loss. If you’ll just reduce calorie intake to lose weight without exercising, you’ll probably lose fat, but you might lose muscle as well.

When a person cuts back on calories, the body will be forced to find other sources of fuel. This means burning fat stores as well as muscle protein. Including an exercise routine alongside your diet can reduce the amount of muscle you lose. Also, most of the benefits of exercise come from improvements in body composition, metabolic health, and overall fitness (not just weight loss).

Exercise Has Powerful Health Benefits

Exercise is great for your health. It can lower the risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and some cancers. People who exercise regularly are believed to have a 50% lower risk of dying from these illnesses.

Another benefit of exercise is that it’s good for your mental health. It can help you unwind and manage stress. As you can see, exercise has other benefits beyond weight loss that are just as important.

What Kind of Exercise Should You Do?

Now that you know the connection between exercise and weight loss, the next question is, “What kind of exercise should you do?” You can do any activity that makes the heart and lungs work harder, such as brisk walking, jogging, biking, or swimming. Gardening, dancing, or playing with your kids also count, as long as it revs your heart.

At least two times a week, do strength training. You can lift weights or use resistance bands. After exercising, stretch your muscles to keep them flexible and also to prevent injury. If you haven’t exercised for a long time, you’re over 45, or have a medical condition, ask a doctor if you should avoid any type of activities.

Conclusion

The connection between exercise and weight loss is that you have to burn more calories than what you eat and drink in order to lose weight. You can start with a few minutes at a time. That will help your body slowly get used to being active. But the ultimate goal is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. If you prefer, you can exercise in short spurts – 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Once you’re in better shape, you can go for longer periods and do more strenuous activities.

Remember, exercise can help you lose weight, but a healthy diet is also important. For optimum results, you can follow the workouts and nutrition plan in the FITin56 program.

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