Fitness as a Strategy to Maintain Weight Loss
Losing weight is really very simple on the surface: Consume fewer calories than you burn. However, anyone who's tried to lose a few pounds knows that it's easier said than done. Those who focus on diet alone will likely have results, but incorporation exercise is the best way to not just lose weight but to keep it off.
The Type Matters – Cardio, Weight Training and Flexibility
There are many types of exercises you can do and experts suggest that you rotate between them. Each has their own benefits and combining them into a complete exercise regiment is the best way to not only not get bored, but to get the benefits of all. Let's consider the advantages of the three main groups.
- Increased Stamina. When you engage in cardio, your breath will quicken and your heart rate will rise. This actually increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, and the effects last for much longer than the period of time in which you exercise. Increased stamina will help you in other types of exercise and in your daily life.
- Boosted Metabolism. Your body will burn many more calories while you're exercising than it will while you're still, but those benefits continue on throughout the day. Each day you engage in cardio you can expect your metabolism to continue to work overtime for many hours after.
- More Self-Confidence. It's no secret that losing weight can help people feel more self-confident, but research shows that simply beginning to take steps can boost how you feel about yourself. Subjects began to feel better about their bodies just a week into a new cardio regiment – well before they could see the results.
- Health Benefits. There are health benefits to losing excess weight but cardio has extra benefits. Regular cardio can result in lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk in developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several types of cancer. It's also been shown that those who simply walk for 30 minutes a day 3 times a week tend to live significantly longer than those who don't, and that they have slower cognitive decline as they age.
- Bodysculpting – Weight training allows you to focus on the specific parts of your body you'd like to trim. For example, those who want slimmer abs can target the core, while those who want strong arms can focus on those.
- Muscle Strength. Stronger muscles translate to better stamina, lower risk of certain diseases, and the general ability to lift and do more in our daily lives.
- Balance. Weight training and significantly improve your balance – which is especially important as folks get into their golden years. Weight training is a great option for people of all ages.
- Increased Bone Density. If you lose weight by simply changing your diet then you could be at risk for bone density loss. Weight training helps to strengthen those bones so you'll be health for years to come.
- Better Physical Performance. No matter if you're exercising, playing sports, or simply going grocery shopping, you'll have a lower risk of injury the more flexible you are.
- Reduced Muscle Soreness and Better Posture. Flexibility training can reduce the natural soreness that occurs when you test your muscles – and better posture not only makes you look more confident, but it has skeletal advantages as well.
- Better Sleep. People who don't get enough sleep are much more likely to be overweight. Flexibility training not only helps you get to sleep more easily, but it can improve the quality of sleep you get when you do sleep.
It's true that diet is 80% of the battle, and selecting the best diets available can help make the battle easier; but don't discount the 20% that exercise brings to the table. It can help motivate you, burn excess sugars, and balance both your body and mind.