Best Exercise For Weight Loss
I don’t know about you but I can truthfully tell you I flat out hate to exercise! I haven’t seemed to arrive at that “nirvana place” where I feel good when I exercise and actually look forward to it. My kudos to those that really do feel that way but I just don’t see it happening for me. Trouble is I want to lose weight and keep it off so I know I have to exercise. The problem is finding the best exercise for weight loss.
If you look at any of the magazines in the grocery store checkout lanes you will find two, three or more headlines all offering different takes on what exercise is best for weight loss. Walking, running, weight training – there are an infinite number of choices with the research to back up why one method is better than another. So what should you believe?
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone to know that the best approach to weight loss is a combined effort of nutrition and exercise. Severely cutting your calories to lose weight without exercise is not a recommended approach. Unfortunately this is exactly how most people try to lose weight. And, unfortunately, this is why most people fail at reaching their weight loss goals.
So what is the real key to fat loss? Aerobic exercise is your best choice to burn fat. It allows you to increase your metabolism and allows you to still eat more! What a great combination! As long as you can choose an aerobic activity that you can keep up for at least 20 – 30 minutes and preferably up to 60 minutes you’ll be burning fat.
Also known as “cardio” these types of activities include walking, jogging, cycling, rowing, cross-country skiing, elliptical exercises – basically things that get your heart rate going and use large muscle groups (like legs).
How often and how long do I need to workout?
You’ll see a lot of claims that 20 minutes 3 times a week is all it takes to lose weight. But let’s face it, you and I both know that if you really want to lose weight you should be exercising more like 5 to 7 days a week. It’s just a fact that if you work out more often you’ll burn more calories and lose more fat!
How hard do I have to work?
You want the intensity level of your workout to be hard enough to burn calories but not so hard that you can’t even complete your 20 to 30 minute session. You’ll often see this referred to as your “fat burning zone” or “target heart rate.”
The easiest way to determine what this rate is for you is to take your age and subtract it from 220. Take the resulting number and multiply it by 60% to 80% . The 60% to 80% numbers are levels of difficulty in your exercise routine. For example: 60-65% would be moderate exercise levels, 65-70% somewhat hard, 70-75% moderately hard and 75-80% hard.
If you were 30 years old and want to work out a a somewhat hard level:
220 – 30 = 190 190 x 70% = 133
You would aim for a heart rate of 133 beats per minute for your “target heart rate.”
Just remember to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
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