In this 200th anniversary year of the birth of Henry David Thoreau, each of us can increase our health and well-being by applying his guidance to our regular exercise activities. Thoreau, one of t ...View Article
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Posted on 09-17-2011
Why Do We Gain Weight and What To Do About IT? Part 1
#1 Lack of Exercise
FOR LONG TERM WEIGHT LOSS, EXERCISE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO
A reduction in food intake jump started the initial loss of body weight, however, only an increase in energy expenditure (exercise) was necessary to maintain the reduced weight, even after food consumption returned to normal. The findings suggest that a continuation of reduced food consumption is not critical to maintain a reduced body weight as long as there is a sustained increase in energy expenditure. Endocrinology August 2002 143: 3183
Exercise provides two major benefits that will result in weight loss:
First, exercise increases your metabolism. This mean that as your metabolic rate increases, you will burn more calories. Your basal metabolic rate is your energy expenditure while at rest. When this increases from exercise, you will lose weight while you sleep.
Exercise also improves your insulin receptor sensitivity. As you consume more and more sugar (glucose rich foods), your insulin receptors become overloaded. Muscle and fat require insulin to be able to absorb glucose. If you are not moving and exercising, your body automatically starts making the adjustment to the insulin receptors. There will not be enough places on the cell for the insulin to attach, so the glucose remains in your blood stream causing many health conditions. As you exercise and decrease your sugar intake, your insulin resistance will decrease and you'll have lower insulin levels, which makes it much easier to burn fat. This will lower the amount of glucose floating in your blood helping also with chronic health conditions.
Below are some guidelines to consider when starting an exercise program that will help you be more successful with your journey:
1. Listen to your body. Exercise should not be painful. There is a difference between your muscles being sore and pain from an injury. If exercise makes you feel worse from over doing it, you need to stop or modify your program. Start out slow. As your energy and health improve, you'll likely be able to tolerate larger amounts of the aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
2. Hire a personal trainer. It is always good to get the advice of a professional. A personnel trainer can give you the right program and instructions to follow to make you more successful. They will give you an exercise program that will work for you. Everyone is different. Depending on what your goals are, weight loss, body building, getting healthy, a trainer can modify any program to make your goals be attainable.
3. Stick with it. Starting a new program is exhilarating and hard. But change is good. The body needs constant change in exercise to continue to grow. This is called muscle confusion. If you stay on a stagnant routine, not only will you get bored, but your body will also. You can hit a plateau. If this happens, change it up a bit. Change it, don't quit. The results will amaze you..
4. Do the right amount of exercise. Typically, you should exercise at least 30 minutes of a day to experience any weight loss benefits. Large studies have shown that 60 minutes a day would be better. Ideally the exercise should be continuous, but it could be split up into two 30-minute sections. Anaerobic exercise consists of weight training. In order to keep your metabolism higher for a longer period of time, you need to have more muscle mass. This does not mean you need to be bulky, just tone. Aerobic exercise is jogging or biking. This will increase your metabolism but only for shorter periods of time. Aerobic exercise has many heart healthy benefits. A combination of weight training and cardio are the best to keep your body healthy and lose that unwanted weight.
5. Be sure to take one day off per week. This allows the muscles to recuperate properly. The muscle fibers break down during exercise and grow during rest. It is be beneficial to take a nice walk and do some stretching on this day. Don't stop moving but modify it on rest day.
6. Exercise at the right intensity. The first step of exercise is to start walking. There is little risk of injury with walking. Walking will make your heart stronger, strengthen your legs and back, and give you more energy. However, don't let walking become stagnant. Mix it up a bit. Add a jog to the next telephone pole. Then walk again. Add hills to your walk. Add more mileage. Depending on if your goal is to continue to walk or wanting to finish a 5K, keep moving and increasing the intensity. Remember muscle confusion is important to grow.
7. Try running. Once you've achieved a baseline, you might try jogging to get added benefits. This does not require any special equipment except a good pair of shoes. But be careful and don't overdo it. Running can be hard on your knees, so alternate everyday.
8. Be smart. Exercise has many great benefits if done correctly. However, injury can occur if you are not careful.
9. If you are having certain muscles that are weaker than others [i.e. quads vs. hamstrings], you may need to be adjusted by a Chiropractor. This allows proper nerve flow to the muscles so they can function properly.
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