People choose many different types of exercise programs, depending on the goal they intend to accomplish. Some choose cardio aerobic activities such as walking and running in an effort to lose weight, while others gravitate toward resistance forms of exercise to build muscle and improve health. It’s important to combine the proper intensity with an appropriate fitness routine to achieve the proper end result that’s right for you.
Choosing Your Fitness Goal
Physical activity guidelines have been established by the US Department of Health and Human Services which are helpful in determining the proper exercise routine to follow, depending on your fitness level and ultimate goal. Individuals trying to lose weight and body fat will want to hit the treadmill with a moderate intensity level for at least 60 minutes on most days of the week.
Many people understand that it’s important to choose some type of exercise to improve health and retain muscle mass, while strengthening the most important muscle in the body, the heart. Here you’ll want to concentrate more on short burst, high intensity resistance exercises with 10 to 20 reps working all major muscle groups. At least 20 to 30 minutes is needed each day to maintain muscle tone and optimal body conditioning.
Top Exercises for Weight Loss
Always combine regular exercise with a well balanced, reduced calorie diet for maximum results. The best weight loss exercises will combine both an aerobic aspect as well as a toning element to drive your metabolism and burn fat.
The main point behind cardio aerobic conditioning exercises is to raise the heart rate into the training zone which increases metabolism and triggers fat release. Step aerobics is an ideal form of fitness training that targets the hips, legs and belly, prime targets for toning and weight reduction. Step aerobics can burn up to 800 calories per hour and qualifies as an inexpensive and highly effective conditioning method to burn fat.
Whether you choose to ride around the neighborhood on a traditional bike, or opt for a stationary trainer, biking provides an excellent way to burn between 500 and 1000 calories per hour, depending on intensity and terrain. Biking is easy to do and is one of the best exercises to boost metabolism and promote weight loss.
Exercises to Promote Health
Health promoting exercises typically involve improved blood circulation and enhanced metabolic function. Although these forms of physical activity aren’t as intense as those which target weight loss, they lower disease incidence by improving critical biomarkers such as blood pressure, blood glucose and heart rate.
Walking is the perfect exercise for virtually everyone. It requires nothing more than a good pair of shoes and a safe place to stretch your legs, while strengthening the heart and influencing metabolic markers such as improved cholesterol ratios, lowered blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Plan to walk at least 30 minutes a day every day of the week for maximum benefits.
Swimming ranks among the best forms of exercise to improve and maintain health because it conditions every key muscle group in the body. There’s no impact to joints, so there’s little risk of injury which can sideline your efforts. Swimming strengthens the heart and lungs, and has been shown to improve insulin resistance as the muscles become metabolically conditioned for peak efficiency.
Health conscious people understand the importance of regular exercise and need to make the proper choices when determining their ultimate goal. Exercises which are meant to burn fat and lower body weight require more intensity and longer training periods. Training to improve your health demands a shorter session, completed on most days of the week. Regardless of your goal, exercise is the key to sustainable weight loss and optimal health.