In addition to reducing the amount of calories you eat every day, studies have shown that aerobic exercise and muscle boosting are two important factors in every successful weight loss program.
Because aerobic exercise significantly boosts your metabolism, a regular exercise routine will help you lose weight by helping you burn more calories. A typical 45-minute aerobic exercise session burns 350 extra calories. If you exercise three times per week for 45 minutes each time, you will burn 1,050 calories during your workouts. Over a period of a month, that equals 4,200 calories, or more than 1 pound. Over a year, it amounts to an extra 12 pounds.
Further, if the aerobic exercise is high-intensity (meaning it causes a significant increase in your heart rate and respiration), your metabolism will remain elevated for an extended period of time, so that you will continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate even after you have stopped exercising.
Finally, aerobic exercise helps maintain lean muscle mass. For this reason, aerobic exercise should be done in combination with strength training, so that you are increasing your lean muscle mass while getting the immediate calorie-burning benefits of the aerobic exercise.
The key to finding an aerobic exercise program that best fits your lifestyle is to find one or two exercises you enjoy, since you'll be more apt to do them. You should exercise three times per week for at least 30 minutes per session.
Lean muscle mass is largely responsible for your rate of metabolism. Why? Because muscle cells are about eight times more metabolically demanding than fat cells, since muscle tissue is extremely active even when you are resting. For example, when you are working at the computer, you probably consider yourself to be resting, but even the smallest muscular movements require energy expenditure by the body. Fat, by contrast, is relatively inactive from a metabolic perspective, and just sits there.
The greater your ratio of lean body mass is to fat, the faster your metabolism runs, and the more calories you are able to burn. If you want to increase your metabolic rate, you need to increase your lean body mass, and you can do that by following a regular muscle boosting (or strength training) program.
Strength training can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent, so beginning a personal training program is enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight management. Strength training has numerous other benefits as well. It helps support strong bones and has been shown to reduce the signs and symptoms of certain diseases and chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, obesity, back pain, and even depression.
Whether you choose to work out at the gym or follow an alternative muscle-boosting program (such as using a set of lightweight resistance bands), there is no better way to make your muscles strong and achieve a higher amount of lean muscle mass. Combined with a healthy diet, strength training can help you maintain lean body mass at any age.
Digestive healthcare expert and naturopathic doctor Brenda Watson has been helping people restore and maintain their digestive health for more than 25 years. She is among the foremost authorities on digestive care. High Fiber Food
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