Monday, April 21, 2008

Choose the Right Exercise to Lose Weight

Diet, exercise and losing weight; it’s the trilogy. Long-term weight loss doesn’t happen without a combination of exercise and decreased calorie intake. There are multiple ‘diets’ on the market today. You can pick a diet based on where your body fat is deposited, your blood type, your medical problems or your eating preferences.

In the end people lose weight because their calorie intake is less than their calorie burn. You pick the diet that works best for your life-style and beliefs.

The downside to diet only is that your body goes into starvation mode with a decreased calorie intake. This means your metabolism slows dramatically and doesn’t increase when your calorie intake goes up. That is why it is so easy to gain weight once you’ve stopped dieting.

On the other hand exercise can trick the body into keeping your metabolism higher and thus stops the yo-yo effect of diet, gain weight, diet, gain weight.

Exercise also has some degree of flexibility. There are some basic rules however, to choosing an exercise program designed to help you lose weight. The greater the amount of weight you have to lose the more flexible your initial exercise program can be.

People who are more than moderately over weight can begin an exercise program using brisk walking or easy bike riding while still burning enough calories. As a person loses more weight it becomes more important to maintain exercise over a period of 30-40 minutes that keeps your heart rate elevated.

Swimming can be a good overall exercise that uses many of the body’s muscles continuously. Fast walking, jogging, resistance training, biking and elliptical trainers all provide exercise that raises your heart rate and that can be done for extended periods of time.

The trick is to pick an exercise program that you can maintain. Choosing a program that looks good on television or promises extensive weight loss won’t work if it stays in the box or on the shelf. It is easier to go for a brisk walk each night for 40 minutes, which requires little to no special equipment purchase, than to engage in a difficult routine that may require sport specific equipment.

The long of the short is that most exercise will help you lose weight. The real concern is to maintain the program, not get bored and not get injured. With a moderate cut in calories and a moderate exercise program you are well on your way to a new you!

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