How does Exercise Maintain Weight Loss?
It’s a fact: You have to burn more calories than you eat and drink to lose weight. For weight loss, it matters that you cut back on the calories that you eat and drink. That matters most for taking the pounds off, according to the CDC.
Exercise pays off in the long run by keeping those pounds off. Research shows that regular physical activity will increase your chances of maintaining weight loss.
How long Should I Exercise to Maintain Weight Loss?
Start with just a few minutes of exercise at a time. Any activity is better than none, and that helps your body slowly get used to being active. Your goal is to work up to half an hour most days of the week to get the full benefits from exercise.
If it’s more convenient, you can do short spurts — 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Each action by itself may not seem like much, but they add up. Once you’re in better shape, you can gradually exercise for more extended periods of time and do more strenuous activities.
When you’re up for it, you can ramp up the intensity and get the same benefits in half the time. For example, jogging for 30 minutes provides health benefits similar to walking for 60 minutes.
What kind of Exercise Should I do to Maintain Weight Loss?
You can do anything that makes your heart and lungs work harder, such as walking, biking, jogging, swimming, fitness classes, or cross-country skiing. Mowing your lawn, going out dancing, playing with your kids — it all counts if it revs your heart.
If you don’t exercise and you’re a man over 45, a woman over 55, or have a medical condition, ask your doctor if you should avoid any types of activities.
Start with something like walking or swimming that’s easy on your body. Work at a slow, comfortable pace, so you start to get fit without straining your body.
At least two or three times a week, do strength training. You can use resistance bands, weights, or your body weight.
Stretch all your muscles at least twice a week after you exercise. That helps keep you flexible and prevent injury.
How to Boost Your Metabolism and Maintain Weight Loss With Exercise
Your next workout could set you up for a speedier metabolism.
Your metabolism includes all the things your body does to turn food into energy and keep you going. Some people have a faster metabolism than others.
Some things that affect whether your metabolism is speedy or sluggish include stuff you don’t control, like your age, sex, and genes. Sometimes a sluggish thyroid could decrease your metabolism. But once you find out that it is normal, speeding it up is up to you. Focus on what does make a difference: exercise.
Muscle cells need a lot of energy, which means they burn a lot of calories. In fact, they burn more calories than fat cells, even when you’re not exercising. So the time you spend working out reaps benefits long after you stop sweating.
Exercise becomes even more critical as you get older. You naturally lose muscle mass with age, which slows down your metabolism. Working out can stop that slide.
It’s simple. You need to challenge your muscles often in these two ways:
1. Amp up your workout to Maintain Weight Loss.
Any aerobic exercise, whether you’re running or doing Zumba, burns calories. Make it more intense, and your body will burn more calories.
Try intervals. You can do them with any cardio. The basic idea is to switch back and forth between higher and lower intensity. You make it really challenging, and then back down your pace, and repeat.
For example, do as many jumping jacks as you can for 1 minute, and then walk in place for 2 minutes. Repeat for 15 minutes.
2. Lift weights to Maintain Weight Loss.
Because muscle uses more calories than fat, strengthening your muscles will make you into a more efficient calorie-burning machine, even when you’re at rest.
Twice a week, do one or two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions on each dominant muscle group (abs, biceps, glutes, quads).
You’ll be doing more than just helping your metabolism. Your heart, bones, and even your mood will benefit. It’s a win all around.
3. Create a personal fitness chart to Maintain Weight Loss
Want to work more fitness into your busy life? Print this personal fitness chart to help you get a sense of your current fitness level. Aerobic exercise is designed to improve the heart and lungs of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Muscle strengthening is essential, especially as we age, to prevent loss of muscle bulk and strength and overall fitness.
The chart records both aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises. Both are crucial for good health. Aerobic activity can help control weight and can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions. Muscle-strengthening exercises are essential for the same reasons but will also boost your metabolism.
Every day, jot down the number of minutes you spent doing aerobic exercise along with any muscle-building activities you did. With strengthening exercise, it’s important to write down the number of repetitions you also completed to show progress.
However, the number of repetitions is not as significant as the ability to perform the exercise correctly and safely without pain. At the end of the week, see how your totals compare to what’s recommended by the CDC for a healthy adult.
Exercise routines, like all routines, can be modified for variety to keep it interesting as you build this healthy habit.
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