Excess bodyweight is problematic to your self-esteem and overall health. From a physical standpoint, you are not only more prone to such conditions as cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but your joints also experience undue stress from carrying excess weight. Exercise plays a big role in losing weight and becoming thin. The trick is to do the right types of exercise and stick to your program, plus reduce your intake of calories by avoiding high-calorie foods.
Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercises elevate your heart rate and cause you to break a sweat. They require repetitive movement of the limbs for an extended period of time. This in turn causes you to burn calories and lose weight throughout your entire body. The type you choose is not important, but you need to like what you do or you will fall off the wagon. Running, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, elliptical training, kickboxing and stair climbing are all effective. With the exception of running, all of these forms are low impact. This is beneficial if you have issues with your joints or lower back.
Duration and Adherence
Aerobic exercises will only make you thin if you do them on a regular schedule and work out long enough. The key to losing weight is doing 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity five days a week. This may sound intimidating, but you do not have to do this all in one session. Exercise in two or three sessions during the day to accumulate your time if this better suits your schedule.
Doing your exercises at a slow and steady pace will bring you weight-loss benefits, but by doing interval training, you will become thinner at a faster pace. Interval training is performed by alternating your intensity back and forth from high to low throughout your entire workout. This causes a higher caloric expenditure than steady-paced training.
Start your workouts with a light warmup and finish with a light cool down. Follow a one-to-two ratio of high to low intensity during the main part of your workout. For example, run fast for 20 seconds and jog lightly for 40.
Added Physical Activity
During the course of the day, you have plenty of opportunities to be more active. Adding extra activity into your day will boost your overall caloric expenditure and cause you to become thinner at a faster pace. While you are at work, go for power walks during your lunch break. Join a local recreational sports league in your community, such as a dodgeball, kickball or flag football league. When you go to a mall or have an appointment on a high floor in a building, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
About Strength Training
Muscle is metabolically active, which means it burns a high amount of calories when you're in a resting state. As such, including two to three strength-training sessions in your weekly workout routine can help you lose weight. Target all of your major muscle groups during the workouts. At the gym, weight machines and free weights are ideal, but if you work out at home, body-weight exercises such as crunches, lunges and pushups can also be effective.
- Weight-Control Information Network: Do You Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- The New York Times: A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Starting a Strength Training Program