Exercise - Choosing the Right Exercise Program For You
All exercise is good for you. It is good for your heart, lungs, muscles and general fitness. But not all exercise is equal when it comes to the most effective way to burn fat and lose weight. Exercising and other forms of activity will increase the amount of energy you burn, so by all means get out and walk, swim, cycle, but for the best results you need to do these in conjunction with a good nutrition program.
One of the most disheartening things we see in the fitness industry is a person who trains for 20 weeks, whether in a gym or just walking their dog, yet doesn't get their desired results. Of course it's equally sad seeing a person get great results too quickly, which we know are just not sustainable, and then go back to their starting weight as their body rebels against this too-sudden, drastic change.
A 1999 journal article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, called the HERITAGE Family Study, showed that when men and women (nearly 600 in total) underwent fitness training without any intervention in their daily eating, weight loss was marginal. Subjects cycled for 30 minutes three times a week for 14 weeks and then for 50 minutes three times a week for 6 weeks, yet their body weight decreased only between few lbs.. These results are very demotivating, particularly if you really are making an effort to exercise and burn fat.
It is very important, when choosing an exercise program for yourself, to assess your own level of fitness. For the majority of people (the 60 to 65 per cent of the Western population who are overweight and don't go to the gym), a low energy density diet and aerobic training (such as walking or cycling) will have more advantages than a program of general dieting and weight training. The practical reasons are that an activity such as walking can be sustained for longer periods of time, usually longer than a weight-training session.
For gym beginners, three sessions a week for one hour each is usually all they can manage. Walking may last for one to two hours at a time and be sustained for three to four times a week, sometimes even more. Other benefits of walking are that you can interact with a friend, partner, or children. For some people going to a gym, purchasing a home gym, and doing high-intensity exercise is simply not practical. If this is you, then your program, should consist of aerobic training. Don't underestimate the energy-burning properties of your legs and a good walk.
If you are a gym-goer, or interested in joining a gym, then there are advantages. The key to a successful gym program, however, is to get out of the incorrect mindset that three one-hour sessions a week is all you need. You still will need a large backdrop of daily incidental activity too. If you are lucky enough to have a personal trainer, don't rely on him or her to perform miracles in the three hours you are in contact.
Combining aerobic training (such as walking, cycling or jogging) with weight training has been shown to provide further benefits in both fat loss and weight loss than either activity done alone. By combining these two types of exercise you build more muscle, and muscle will burn fat. Second, walking at a good pace over an extended period releases a massive amount of fat to be used. You then have the useful combination of plenty of fat being released into your bloodstream and plenty of muscle to burn fat. Some studies have shown that in a period of about 20 weeks you can lose in the vicinity of 35 lbs. this way.