How much exercise will we have to do to lose weight?
How much exercise you need to lose weight depends on several things, such as:
- Fitness level
First of all, a proper weight loss program should include exercise and participation and a healthy, well-balanced diet that has been well thought out. The bottom line is weight loss and weight gain results from how much food you eat and how many calories you burn. It’s that simple. If you eat more calories than your body burns, you will gain weight. If your body burns more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. If you eat the same amount of calories that you burn, your weight stays constant.
Many people, however, find this confusing. Some realize that as they get older, they become heavier, even though their amount of food intake and exercise activity haven’t changed. However, what they don’t take into consideration is that as they get older, their metabolism slows down naturally. To account for this fact, you have to make certain changes.
You either decrease your caloric intake and/or change your diet to include foods that fire up the metabolism; and/or increase your level of physical activity. The fact is that certain people tend to gain weight more than others. This doesn’t mean, however, that they are doomed to be overweight. It means they have to do a little more work to keep the fuel burning process adequate. One of the biggest causes of weight gain in America today is the lack of or insufficient amount of exercise.
Many people who eat reasonably healthy need to raise their exercise level to lose the extra pounds. Others need drastic dietary changes as well as increased exercise participation. The common denominator, though, seems to be insufficient exercise levels. Countless scientific studies have proven that exercise improves the body’s metabolic rate. So, how much exercise do we need to lose weight?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, to attain the benefits of a fit and healthy heart and weight reduction, you should exercise for 20-60 minutes with an intensity of between 60%-85% of your maximum heart rate, 3-5 times weekly. The more weight you need to lose, the higher the intensity, duration, and frequency should be. You have to start slow and gradually increase the pace. See your doctor first, however, before you begin.
What is your maximum heart rate?
Your maximum heart rate (MHR) can be found by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180. If you want to train at 60% of your MHR, your target HR would be 108 (60% of 180 is 180x60÷100=108).
The number of heartbeats per minute determines your heart rate. To get your heart rate, take your pulse for 10 seconds, and multiply that number by 6, which would equal the number of heartbeats over a one-minute period.
What exercise do you choose?
Find something that you will enjoy doing. Otherwise, you will have a difficult time staying with it for long time periods. There are various indoor facilities, including health clubs that offer many different activities. Some of them include aerobics, boxing aerobics, dancing, yoga, walking or jogging by the treadmill, step climbing, rowing, basketball, indoor soccer, badminton, and swimming. Many of these and other activities can be performed outdoors.
You can even work out at home if you wish. There are many instructional videos out there that have various exercise methods you can follow from home. Some may require certain additional equipment, depending on the method of exercise. There are many inexpensive pieces of equipment you can buy, such as jump rope, hand weights, step for step climbing, training balls, and so on.
If you plan to do most of your exercising at home, you can invest in more expensive equipment. These may include a treadmill for walking or running, a stationary bicycle, or even an elliptical machine. You can surf the net freely to find out all kinds of information and various product ratings on most training equipment pieces.
Once you narrow down what you want, search the internet for the best price before putting your money down. One advantage of internet shopping is the product can be delivered right to your door. Make sure you choose ones that offer generous money-back guaranties – these tend to be better quality products.
Now that you picked your activity, where do you start? Begin at the lowest levels of the above recommendations. If you are new to exercise, walking, regardless of the exercise method you have chosen, is one way to begin. Start with a moderate pace for 20 minutes, three times per week. Increase the intensity level every couple of weeks or as your body adjusts and adapts to each new training level.
When you get to the level of brisk walking, you are ready to begin your activity of choice for a period of one hour, 5 to 6 times a week. Again, start at a relatively low-intensity level and work your way up. If you picked jogging as your activity, begin with a mix of brisk walking and jogging slowly. Increase the amount of jogging time gradually until you are jogging the entire time. The goal is to jog for 20-30 minutes, five times a week with intensity between 70%-85% of MHR.
Remember that if you are not physically capable of jogging or performing other demanding exercises, brisk walking is still an excellent choice as long as it’s combined with an adequate and healthy diet. To lose weight, your daily caloric intake should equal to about your weight in pounds multiplied by ten (unless you are extremely overweight). Remember, it’s still all about input and output. So, don’t lose hope and live a healthy life.