Ahh, exercise, the main thing we hear we must do in order to lose weight. Did you know that nutrition is actually more effective in the weight loss process than exercise? While it holds true that ‘bodies are made in the kitchen’, exercise is also an important aspect of health and will help you reach your weight loss goals as well as maintain your weight in the long run (pun intended). With that being said, how much exercise is enough to see results?
When it comes to weight loss, this generally requires a caloric deficit in order to shed some pounds and for many people, there is a misconception that you must fuel your body in order to reap the full benefits of exercise. While it is true that a properly fueled body will perform more optimally during exercise, this concept is really only important for people with a fitness goal more geared towards athleticism. When working out for weight loss, additional calories are generally not required simply because the exercise itself will further enhance the caloric deficit achieved by nutrition. The benefits of calories burned from the workout will not be observed in weight loss if it is replaced with extra calories to “recover”.
The type of exercise is also important when trying to lose weight as well! Believe it or not, cardio is not always the answer, and this is because muscle helps you lose weight simply because it burns more calories. Focusing more on resistance type exercises that help increase muscle will ensure that you continue to burn calories even after the session. You should aim for at least a 30 minute resistance exercise routine 3 days per week, with at least 48 hours of rest in between sessions to ensure proper muscle repair and rebuild. Cardiovascular exercise should be at least 30-60 minutes and done after performing resistance exercise to be able to maintain proper form and prevent injury.
Recommendations for physical activity is 150 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week, or 75 minutes vigorous exercise 3-4 days a week. While this sounds abstract, if you were to incorporate a moderate-to-vigorous 30 minute resistance workout 3 days per week coupled with cardiovascular exercise, it would be pretty simple to reach these goals! The important part is that you begin with something that you like to do, as this will ensure that you are consistent with it. This can be finding a class-type atmosphere, to workout videos at home.
Don’t be discouraged at the thought of working out meaning that you have to go to a gym, that is simply not true. There are bodyweight exercises that will provide enough resistance, as well as exercise bands that you can easily store at home. Start slow and find activities that you like to do! If you feel that you need a bit more direction, we have two personal trainers on staff who can help guide you!