Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to helping you lose those extra pounds, exercise can strengthen and tone your muscles, help reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being. Each exercise session should include a 5 to 10 minute warm-up and cool-down to prevent injury and improve flexibility. Also, remember that healthy eating and exercise must go hand-in-hand to lose weight and keep it off. Choose a few of your favorites and keep it fun!
Take the stress off your joints and try swimming for weight loss. Swimming laps for an hour can burn 511 to 763 calories depending on your weight, and just floating around in the pool or swimming leisurely won’t do the trick.
While walking is an effective low-impact activity, running or jogging can really ramp up the calorie burn. Depending on your weight, running for one hour at 5 mph can burn between 600 and 900 calories. Throw in some interval training and you’ll fire up the metabolism even more, as well as add a little spice to your workouts. So, instead of doing an easy 3 mile jog every day, add some hills or speed play (jog 3 minutes, run fast 1 min) to keep things interesting. You can also add more challenge to your walk with jogging or hill intervals. For example, if you walk for 30 minutes, you can throw in a 1 to 2 minute jog every 5 minutes.
Strength training, such as lifting weights or using resistance to target a certain muscle group, helps to increase lean muscle mass, which makes muscle more metabolically active than fat. This also means that your body will burn more calories, even while you’re at rest. Spot reducing is a myth, so choose a balanced strength training program that will target all the main muscle groups (chest, back, abs, shoulders, quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings, glutes, & calves) for the best results.
From a motivating aerobics class at your gym to a DVD in your living room, there’s a huge variety of aerobic exercises to choose from. Getting regular aerobic exercise is an ideal way to burn a lot of calories and reach your weight loss goals. You can select a high or low impact style depending on your fitness level. You can burn up to 600 calories in one hour with low-impact aerobics; roughly 800 calories in one hour with high-impact aerobics.
Jumping and bounding movements that challenge your muscles in new ways is called Plyometrics. In addition to helping you lose weight, the explosive quickness and intensity inherent in plyometric exercises also improves cardiac fitness and builds endurance. This type of training is also more advanced and can lead to injury if not performed correctly, or if you have existing joint issues. For best results and safety purposes, consult with a personal trainer or sports medicine doctor before you begin a new program. Some examples of plyometric exercises include burpees, jump squats, jump lunges, double leg hops, power push-ups and plank jacks.
Just an hour on the trails can burn between 500 and 800 calories. Cross-country skiing will definitely get your heart pumping and work multiple muscle groups.