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Which Exercise is Best for Weight-Loss

After the holidays, the desire to lose or control weight is a major motivation for exercising. It is important to take into consideration what is your goal when deciding which exercise is the best for you. Are you looking into lose weight or control? That is the question!

First of all, if you want to lose weight, you better choose exercises that can do that for you. The exercises that can help you lose weight are usually weight-bearing exercise, such as jogging or brisk walking, where gravity is against you. Activities such as swimming and cycling are not for you to lose weight, but to maintain it. The main reason is that the gravity is in your favor, so you will have to work longer hours in order to achieve you weight-loss target.

Usually, the weight-bearing activities are the ones that work against gravity. Therefore, the aerobic activities like walking, running, cross-country skiing, dancing, skating and stair-climbing burn proportionately more calories at a given level of effort than swimming, cycling or water aerobics. While activities like swimming put less stress on weight-bearing joints, many people can do them for longer periods, making up for the lower caloric burn.

Be careful with resistance exercises (workout is usually with weights or on machines that strengthen various muscle groups). You will burn the fat, but you may gain several pounds of muscle that partly offset the loss of body fat. Since muscle holds less water and takes up less room than the equivalent weight of fat, by shedding fat and gaining muscle you can lose inches and sizes without losing actual pounds on the scale. With greater muscle mass, your basic metabolic rate will rise and you will burn more calories all day and night.

If you take time into consideration, the time spent doing resistance exercise burns fewer calories than if the same time were spent on aerobic activities. So, it really depends on your weight-loss goals: losing size or weight as well. The duration and intensity of physical activity are important factors in how much fat the body burns for energy, which, after all, is what you want to lose. So, if you work out longer hours, you will burn more calories.

A very important factor in caloric burn out is to find out which exercises continue burn out calories after the work out. Both aerobic and resistance exercises raise energy expenditure over the next 12 to 24 hours, and the range of energy burned is from 10 to 150 calories, depending on the type of activity and how long and vigorously it was done. You must think that it is not much, but it can be a lot in the long run.

If you are overweight or obese, or you are working out with someone who is, keep in mind that overweight and obese burn more calories proportionately doing the same activity, for the same duration and at the same intensity, than those of normal weight.

And it is important to remember that people are born with metabolic differences. Some have a higher resting metabolic rate or produce more fat-burning enzymes than others. Needless to mention that gender also counts! Women tend to burn more fat under the skin than men. But on the other hand, they have harder time getting rig of abdominal fat than men do.

If you ate too much during these holidays, use the calculator to find out exactly how many minutes you should work out to achieve your desired goal. Please sign in and go to the fitness calculator in the Fitness area. You will be surprised with the results.

Editorial Staff, December 2007
Last update, July 2008


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