It is well known that when you reduce your calorie intake, you will lose even more weight if you exercise too. More exercise is always better than some and some is better than none at all. But what does more mean? How much do we really need to exercise to lose weight and improve our health? A 2009 study found that people who did 225-420 minutes a week of moderately vigorous exercise lost the greatest amount of weight. This same study also found that exercise is the best way to keep weight off that you have already lost. People who were able to maintain their weight loss, exercised for 150-250 minutes a week.
So we now know how much time to devote to exercise, but what kind of exercise should we do? The short answer is any exercise that you enjoy so that you keep doing it. For the long answer, let’s take a look at this Ultimate Metabolic and Calorie Burning Makeover, adapted from a recent lecture by exercise expert, Len Kravitz, PhD.
Importance of Warming-Up Before Working Out
Warming up for 5-10 minutes before your workout increases blood flow to your muscles for better performance. It also gets your carbohydrate and fat enzymes going. Translation: you will burn more calories and fat during your workout if you warm up first!
Cardiovascular Calorie Burn
After your warm-up, increase the intensity by 10-15 percent (this can mean going faster, increasing incline, etc.) and continue for 4 minutes. Increase your intensity again by 10-15 percent for 4 minutes. Continue this pattern until you have reached your moderately vigorous intensity level. Maintain this for as long as you feel comfortable. Then decrease the intensity by 10-15 percent for 4 minutes, and again another decrease for 4 minutes until you reach your original intensity level.
Weight Training Burns Fat!
It was once thought that weight training was only good for strengthening and building muscle. Turns out we also burn fat during weight training and up to 2 hours after our workout is finished! Try this regimen: Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions (lifts) at 85% of the maximum amount of weight you can lift. Rest for only 90 second between sets.
Donnelly, JE. Appropriate physical activity intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain in adults. J Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2009, vol. 41, 459-469.
Herrera, L and Kravitz, L. Yes! You do burn fat during resistance exercise. IDEA Fitness J. 2009, vol. 6, 17-19.