Exercise Tips for Weight Loss
Have you set a goal to lose weight? If so, you might be ready to start a diet and exercise program for weight loss. After all, that’s what weight loss experts recommend, right?
Not really. In fact, if you start a diet and exercise program at the same time, you could easily set yourself up for failure. Instead, use these smart tips to set up a smarter weight loss program. With this savvy approach, you’re more likely to see real weight loss results that last.
Don’t Exercise When You Begin a Diet
When you first start a diet, you should not exercise. Yep, you heard that right. You can skip the gym for the first few weeks of your weight loss program. Why? There are two reasons.
First, cutting calories can cause fatigue – especially when you first change your diet. You can use natural methods to boost your energy, but you may still be too tired to exercise.
And second, at the beginning of your weight loss plan, you should focus all of your attention on the diet. Even though both diet and exercise matter when you want to lose weight, diet matters more. If you put all of your energy into eating a healthy, calorie-controlled diet at the start of your weight loss program, you set yourself up to see results sooner. And those weight loss results will help to keep you motivated when you add the challenge of exercise in the later weeks. So focus on healthy eating at the beginning of your diet and leave exercise for later.
Boost Non-Exercise Activity
Even though you should be cautious about exercise at the beginning of your diet, you don’t want to get lazy. Stay busy with NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. So what’s NEAT? It’s all the physical activity you do throughout the day that isn’t vigorous enough to count as exercise. You can walk the dog, take the stairs to your office, carry groceries home from the store, or take a short walk during your coffee break to burn calories with NEAT. One easy way to measure your NEAT is to count your daily steps with a pedometer or activity monitor. Start by trying to reach 10,000 steps per day. Then increase your goal to 15,000 or even 20,000 as you become more fit.
Postpone Hard Workouts
Once you have a calorie-controlled eating plan in place, your energy levels have adjusted to your new diet, and you’ve learned to maximize NEAT, it’s time to add an exercise program. A healthy exercise program will help you to burn more calories, speed up the weight loss process and improve heart health. But it’s best to begin slowly. So postpone the high-intensity workouts and start with an easy exercise program.
Easy exercise provides several important weight loss benefits. First, it helps to boost your confidence – especially if you are new to exercise or if you’re starting a program after taking time off. An easy program will also prepare your muscles for more vigorous exercise, help to prevent injury and will enable you to build a workout habit that you’ll stick to for life.
Only One Workout Trend Matters
So what’s the best workout for weight loss? It’s the one that you do consistently. So you can skip the high-priced, trendy workout fads and do whatever workouts are most convenient for you, as long as you do them on a regular basis.
Of course, there are workouts that burn more fat. You’ll find that high-intensity workouts provide the best fat-burning benefits both during and after exercise. But those workouts only provide noticeable benefits when you do them on a regular basis. If you choose to add trendy high-intensity workouts, like spinning, bootcamp, or P90X-style workouts, do so cautiously. Plan recovery workouts on the days after those sessions to give your body and brain a chance to recover and rebuild.
Vary Workouts for Better Results
Variety is the spice of life – even at the gym. So when you feel like your body is falling into a rut and you’re not getting the weight loss results that you want, it’s time to mix things up and try a new program.
Smart exercisers don’t do the same workout day after day. They complete workouts that use different body parts on different days. These exercises include aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training workouts in their schedule to keep their bodies active. They also try different styles of workouts to keep their muscles moving.
To make the most of your workout program, try different types of exercise often. If you like to run, give spinning a try. If you usually lift weights or walk, learn how to do a circuit workout. You’ll find that when you change your workouts, you change your body.
Muscles Boost Metabolism
Many weight loss workout experts will tell you how to burn calories with cardiovascular – or aerobic workouts. Spinning is an aerobic workout, walking can be an aerobic workout and stair climbing machines provide an aerobic workout. But muscle matters too. So it’s important to lift weights at least 2-3 times per week.
So what’s so great about muscle? It weighs more, but it also burns more calories all day long. So you boost your metabolism when you build muscle. And lean muscles shape a tighter body. If you want to look great in your favorite clothes, you’ll get there faster if you spend some time building muscle.
(Hint: Remember that you don’t need to go to the weight room to build strength. In fact, some of the most effective strength training exercises use body weight only.)
Exercise Improves Long-Term Health
Even though diet matters more at the beginning of your weight loss program, exercise matters more for long-term weight maintenance. Experts recommend that you get at least 250 minutes per week to keep the weight off for good. Does that sound intimidating? It won’t be if you set up your program properly and slowly increase your weekly exercise minutes.
Remember, exercise is important for weight loss, but it’s also important for longevity and healthy aging. If you stay active as you age, you’ll stay lean and healthy, too. So invest both time and energy into creating a healthy workout habit that you can stick to for life.