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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
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
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
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