Cardiovascular exercise (aerobics) and Resistance exercise (weight training).
Aerobic exercise doesn't have to mean jumping around like a moron to dance music. It just means that the activity is sustained by the body using oxygen as the primary source of fuel. This type of exercise can be sustained continuously for long periods of time, anywhere from 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes.
The most common types of cardiovascular exercise are walking, jogging, rowing, cycling, stair climbing, boxing, skipping (jump rope), dancing, cross country skiing and elliptical exercises.
Resistance training usually involves lifting or moving some kind of weight. This can be using dumbbells or barbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, resistance bands or your own body weight. The main point is that it is not sustainable for long periods of time. Usually only minutes at a time.
Resistance exercise is vital in order for you to keep your lean muscle mass. As previously discussed, muscle burns fat. If you begin to lose muscle then burning fat is made almost impossible. Resistance exercises do not need to be done in the gym. They can be done at home, in your back yard or in the park. They can also be done with no equipment at all.
After you have done resistance exercises your metabolism continues to burn calories even when you are at rest, whereas cardio exercise only burns calories whilst you are working out.
The effects of resistance exercise can be experienced long after the actual exercise itself. Your body stays hot and continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours after working out behaving like a fat burning furnace. Resistance exercise is not only important for preserving and building muscle, it is also responsible for keeping your bones and joints strong and healthy.
So you can see that it is important to combine cardio and resistance exercises in order to lose weight whilst maintaining a firm and strong body.
Exercise in your home.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean buying expensive gym memberships or exercise equipment.
All you have to think of is what you can do to start burning more calories than you are today.
Here are some daily calorie burning activities you can do along with the value of calories burned associated with it.
Note – before embarking on any exercise program it is highly recommended that you first consult your doctor to assess your current physical state.
Note – these are the average figures for a 84 kg individual, results will vary according to weight. If you are a little heavier you will burn more calories than the figures presented below. These figures are based upon 60 minutes of activity.
· Ironing – 189 calories
· Washing dishes – 189 calories
· Cooking – 222 calories
· Carpentry – 300 calories
· Lawn raking – 333 calories
· Mopping – 377 calories
· Housework– 390 calories
· Gardening – 455 calories
· Wood Chopping – 511 calories
· Furniture rearranging – 555
Exercise as you can see comes in many forms not only are there practical and useful applications but you also get the added benefit of it improving your health.
However if you are serious about losing weight you have to step up your efforts a little more, these everyday household activities are great for getting exercise but as you know in order to lose even 1/2 kilo of fat you need to lose 3,500 calories. It would take a lot of furniture moving and gardening for you to get to that point.
To get to the stage where you will lose weight on a consistent basis you need to add extra exercise to your routine.
Let’s start small because these are activities that can boost your level of fat burning that little bit extra.
These activities aren’t too strenuous but can help the weight come off faster.
This is achievable for most people no matter what your fitness level and will kick your weight loss up a notch.
Note – these are the average figures for an 84 kg individual, results will vary according to weight. If you are a little heavier you will burn more calories than the figures presented below. These figures are based upon 60 minutes of activity.
· An hour’s worth of Yoga stretching – 350 calories
· A relaxing bike ride for one hour – 350 calories
· Running around with your children – 350 calories
· Lawn mowing – 366 calories
· Pilates – 433 calories
· Walking (7 km per hour) – 433 calories
· Game of golf – 480 calories
· Walking up stairs – 577 calories
· Stationary bike – 588 calories
· Walking on a treadmill or jogging – 588 calories
· Low intensity skipping – 700 calories
Light exercise is fantastic because it can be easily incorporated into our daily lives and will be the exercise most people, especially when starting off on a weight loss program will be able to do.
Once the weight starts to come off and you gain a little more confidence you no doubt will be able to introduce more rigorous exercise into your regime. When you feel within yourself your fitness level increasing you might want to try some moderate exercise.
Here are some examples of moderate exercise. Again these figures are representative of an 84kg person. If you weigh more than this your calorie expenditure will be much higher. These figures are based upon 60 minutes of activity.
· Low impact Aerobics – 431 calories
· Swimming (moderate) – 511 calories
· Hiking (medium terrain) – 520 calories
· Step Aerobics – 588 calories
· Jogging – 600 calories
· Rollerblading – 600 calories
· Game of Ice hockey – 700 calories
· Mountain Biking – 710 calories
· Running (8 kph per hour) – 710 calories
· Ski Machine – 810 calories
· Rowing machine (minimal effort) – 820 calories
· Skipping (moderate effort) – 860 calories
If you want to take your weight loss to newfound levels you can introduce more intense exercise to your routine known as heavy exercise. Not only will it build more fat stripping lean muscle tissue but it will make your body both inside and out stronger than ever.
Proceed with caution – these are advanced exercises and you should consult your doctor before even attempting them. Do not jump into these activities without first having built up your strength with the low and medium impact exercises above first. Not only can this damage your health but it will hurt your chances of weight loss as a result of any sustained injury.
These exercises are the same as above but with the difference of increased intensity level.
Remember that if you have been sedentary for quite some time, you may want to build up to these activities by trying the lower intensity alternatives first.
Again these figures are representative of an 84kg person. If you weigh more than this your calorie expenditure will be much higher. These figures are based upon 60 minutes of activity.
· Step Aerobics (high impact) – 888 calories
· Rock Climbing – 921 calories
· Bikram Yoga – 950 calories
· Elliptical Trainer – 955 calories
· Swimming (butterfly stroke) – 1,000 calories
· Handball – 1,010 calories
· A game of Squash – 1,040 calories
· Canoeing (above 10 kph) – 1,040 calories
· Skipping (high impact) – 1,040 calories
· Cross-country skiing (high impact) around 1,400 calories.
· Running (18 kph) – 1,876 calories
There will only ever be 24 hours in a day and how we use those will have a huge impact on our weight loss success. Incidental exercise is the type of unplanned exercise you do each day.
I know it’s not easy. With the crazy pace of our lives in the 21st century we are finding ourselves busier than we ever have before at any other time in history and as a result, we may find it difficult to incorporate exercise into our hectic schedules.
The reality will always be that if you want to have any success with your weight loss efforts you have to be able to plan exercise, make it part of your new lifestyle and use every opportunity that comes along to do some incidental exercise.
Even just watching a little less television and opting instead to go for a brisk walk can contribute to your weight loss. Playing with the kids and exerting yourself a little more will burn extra calories. Finding the balance that’s right for you and the exercises that you can work into your lifestyle without turning your whole life upside down is the key to your success.
Use the time you play with the kids to increase activity levels. Instead of just playing with them why not bike ride with them or throw a ball around at the same time? You still get to spend quality time with the added benefit of ditching extra calories.
Get active, sign up for a sport whether it’s tennis, football, baseball, swimming or aerobics this is a great way to lose weight and have fun at the same time while making new friends (what a great way to get support). Even making the time to do this once per week can contribute to your overall weight loss.
If you work in an office building why not opt to take the stairs? To build up your fitness you may even wish to go past your own level. Not only is this a great way of increasing your fitness level but it’s also fantastic for incorporating into your daily schedule so you in essence made it part of your new lifestyle change without having to make too great a sacrifice. Before know it, it will have become such an integral part of your life that you won’t be able to do without it
Not enough hours in the day? We can’t create extra time however we can use wisely the time that we do have. Why not try jumpstarting your day an hour earlier by doing some exercise? Why not walk the dog? Why not do an hour on the treadmill or an hour of yoga or Pilates? Not only do you kick start your metabolism into action but you will continue to burn calories long throughout your day as a result of your early morning exercise efforts.
Any activities that you do such as housecleaning or vacuuming, sweeping and mowing the lawn, why not put more effort and intensity into it? This can make an impact on your weight loss efforts just by doing a little more.
Any form of exercise is good and the more you do it and increase the intensity level the more fat you will burn. Aim to start with three times per week then increase from there and you will notice the results. Not only will your energy levels increase but you will notice your body changing and your clothes fitting looser on your body.
Remember that exercise is not just for the here and now; it’s a lifestyle change for life. Beyond just wanting to look good you are prolonging your life in the process and the benefits far outweigh sacrificing a little down time. Your health and life are worth it.
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My name is Dave Hagger, founder of Seriously Fit Bootcamp
As a fitness professional I frequently meet people who want to lose weight but just have no idea where to start.