Fitness and Weight Loss
Fitness and weight loss go hand in hand. To plan the best workout for maximum weight loss, lets look at the various types of exercises.
Types of exercise
Flexibility exercises Some stretching exercises are needed as warm-up exercises at the start of an exercise session and cool-down exercises at the end. Stretching lessens the risk of injury.
Pilates and yoga classes develop flexibility and are good for relaxation . Pilates and yoga develops core strength-important for flexibility in sport. Yoga can develop mental toughness. Vigorous forms of yoga such as ashtanga and Iyengar can also be good for aerobic exercise but on their own, most flexibility exercises do not lead to fitness and weight loss.
Aerobic exercise (also called cardio exercise) is exercise that gets you huffing and puffing. It includes brisk walking, running, jogging, rowing and cycling, either outdoors or on a treadmill. Aerobic exercise gains energy from the bodys oxygen, carbohydrates and fat. While other types of exercises burn few calories, aerobic exercise can burn a lot. Aerobic exercises are most effective for fitness and weight loss. Make sure that you do aerobic exercise many times a week.
Weight training is also called strength training and resistance training. Strength training develops your muscles. Weight training can be done with weights in a gym or using resistance bands or your own body weight at home or another convenient place. Strength training is for everyone-not just men who want to develop large muscles. Muscle mass burns calories 70 times faster than fat. While aerobic exercises burn the most calories, the muscles built by weight training help you burn more calories when doing aerobic exercise. Weight training is an essential part of a fitness and weight loss program.
When you are weight training for weight loss you need to exercise all the muscle groups in arms and chest, abdominals, legs, back and butt or glutes so that you develop muscle all over the body. Dont worry that you will over-train and become muscle-bound (unless you want to). You will become lean with the physique of an athlete. If at any point you feel a part of your body has the shape you want and you dont want to develop that body part any further, just keep the weights at that level. Dont increase the weights. Developing muscle mass throughout your body will give you more calorie burning power. (Heres a tip. If you have enough muscle mass you can eat a bit more without gaining weight!)
Putting it all together
Always warm up and cool down with flexibility exercises. Do weight training three times a week, making sure that you exercise all muscle groups. The bulk of your exercise session should be spent on aerobic exercise. For best results exercise 5-6 times a week. You will soon see great improvement in your fitness and weight loss.
If you are unfit and unused to exercise, you must visit your doctor before starting to exercise . This is particularly true if :
You have (or have had) problems with your heart or blood pressure
You are taking prescription medicine
You experience problems with bones or joints
You are male over 35 or female over 40
You have a family history of heart disease or stroke
You are a smoker
You are very overweight or obese.
After you have explored the fitness and weight loss options on this site, discuss the activities and exercises you like with your doctor. Your doctor will tell you what to expect and if there are any precautions you need to take into account in your fitness and weight loss program. Ask your doctor what should be your target heart rate for exercise.