For someone who is planning to lose weight, exercise is almost always a recommended part of the weight loss program. Weight is gained when the amount of calorie intake is higher than the amount of calories used up by the body. Exercise helps to increase the body’s metabolism enabling it to burn calories and faster. Most of the time, people eat a lot more than they should, and without exercise, they are bound to get bigger and heavier.
There are two best types of exercises to lose weight. These are the cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, and the strength training. These types of exercises have different effects on the body but they all are helpful when one is trying to lose weight.
Cardiovascular exercises (or cardio exercises for short) are sometimes called aerobic exercises.
They are common exercises to lose weight because they burn a lot of calories. The prefix “cardio” refers to the word heart. They are called cardio workouts because they increase the heart rate for a sustained amount of time. Cardio exercises have lots of health benefits including improvement of the heart muscle and blood circulation, strengthening of the muscles and the bones, improve the ability of the muscles to use fats during the workout, and increasing the body’s aerobic metabolism. The last two are especially helpful when one is trying to lose weight. Here are a few examples of cardio exercises:
Jogging or running – is probably one of the best and most common cardio workouts being done. It’s because you can do it almost anywhere, and for free. There are also no special equipment needed, you only need a special kind of shoes and you’re good to go. Adding some sprints or running uphill can help you burn even more calories.
A singles match in tennis – is also considered an aerobic exercise. The good thing about tennis, as compared to jogging, is that you use your arm muscles a lot too, not just your leg muscles. The problem with tennis is that you need a racquet first of all, a court and a partner to play with.
Swimming – is a great way to do cardio exercises because it utilizes a lot of the muscles in your body. Injuries in swimming are minimized because the joints are supported.
Bicycling – can be done either outdoors or indoors. Using an indoor machine would be great because you can adjust the resistance. But if you’re cycling outdoors, riding uphill would be the best way to burn calories.
Jumping rope – is also a good way to have cardio workout. You only need to buy a rope and you can do your jumping indoors or outdoors.
There are a lot more cardio exercises to lose weight but these are just a few examples to help start you off. For beginners, the common length of time to do your cardio workouts is 30 minutes. You can gradually increase the time or intensity and frequency of your workouts as your progress. A little caution though, it is best to consult with a medical health professional before undergoing any of these exercises especially if you have heart problems or you have hypertension.
The strength training exercises.
These are exercises that aim to build the strength of both skeletal muscles and bones. It uses resistance usually in the form of weights to push the muscles beyond its normal capacity in order to build strength. Strength training exercises are mainly anaerobic activities. They are high intensity activities performed in a series of repetition. Aside from improving muscle and bone strength, other health benefits for strength training are increase in metabolism, increase in HDL (or good cholesterol), improvement in join function as well as heart function and reduces potential for injury. Strength training exercises usually target specific muscles groups in the body. Below are a few examples of strength training exercises.
The bench press – is one of the most common strength training exercises. It is performed while lying down, usually on a bench and the weights are held by both hands and it is pushed away from the body. This is aimed to strengthen the pectoral muscles.
The pull-up – can be done at home with a make shift bar. It is done by gripping the bar (either with palms facing forward or backward) and trying to pull your body up until your chin passes the bar. This gives emphasis on your biceps, your lats and part of your deltoids.
The push-down – This is done standing and pushing down a bar that id at the level of the chest. The bas is pushed until the arms are extended. This is used to strengthen the triceps.
The leg raise – This done lying sitting or lying on the floor and the legs are raised towards the shoulder. This exercises the hip flexors.
The leg press – is done by pushing a weight away from the body using both legs. This strengthens almost all muscles of the lower limb.
There are more strength training exercises that you can do, and like the aerobic exercises, you must also consult professional trainer before doing these exercises. Because the muscles are being pushed beyond their capacity, there is a risk of injury when they are done wrong.
It doesn’t really matter which type of exercises to lose weight that you choose because both of them work well. The important thing is that you do exercise because it is an integral part of not only losing weight, but in keeping your body healthy and strong.