Ultimately, the numbers on your scale are just that: numbers. Still, weight loss matters! Your body weight affects your health, energy levels, and how you feel about your body. Losing weight can be a great goal, and the only (healthy) way to do it is through balanced eating and exercise.
Here’s what you need to know about exercising to drop those extra pounds!
Why Exercise Matters
Your body weight is determined by a couple of factors: how much you eat and how your body uses that fuel. If you want to lose excess weight, you need to shed what your body is storing by expending energy. That means burning calories! And the most efficient way to burn calories is through exercise.
How Much Exercise is Needed for Weight Loss
To burn enough calories to lose weight, you need to burn more than your body consumes and uses for normal functions (like breathing, sitting, sleeping, etc!) Experts say that just 150 minutes of exercise each week can help trim your figure.
However, experts also say you can raise your metabolism by:
- Eating healthy foods
- Moving throughout the day
- Staying hydrated
What Types of Exercise Work for Weight Loss
Any kind of exercise can play a part in weight loss, but some types are more effective than others. Generally, a combination of cardio and strength training works best.
Cardio is smart because it burns a lot of calories quickly. Walking, running, rowing, and dancing are examples of cardio.
Strength Training is also key. When you build more muscle, your body burns more calories even after your workouts and while you are resting. Lift weights, perform bodyweight exercises, or use resistance machines at the gym.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) combines both cardio and strength training. It’s a really efficient form of workout that alternates types of activities so you burn a ton of calories immediately and continue to burn them later. Plus, certain HIIT classes can be incorporated into group training, where accountability can help you reach your goal.
When to Lighten Up Your Load
Once you’re working out to lose weight, exercise can get addictive! You might find you love your fitness friends so much that you want to workout every day. Or you may be so thrilled with your results that you keep hitting up the gym. But, there can be too much of a good thing.
Stay healthy as you lose weight by knowing your limits:
- If your muscles go from sore to painful, it’s time to stop
- Alternate the muscles you target so you don’t work them two days in a row
- Meet with a Personal Trainer to make sure you’re working is individualized for you and your specific fitness goals
- Rest your body at least once a week
- Don’t push yourself if you feel faint
Where to Workout to Lose Weight
If you’re serious about reaching your weight loss goals, it’s smart to join the gym. Your local gym should have the equipment, resources, community, and leadership needed to put your goal within reach. That makes a difference.
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