Exercise and Weight Loss

Exercise is an essential component to any successful weight loss program. In addition to helping you reach your weight loss goals it will make you look and feel better. It not only causes you to burn calories and lose weight, but helps build lean muscle which will increase the bodies metabolism.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most if not all days of the week. But you don't have to start there.

Exercise Categories

If you currently don't exercise, you will probably want start in the "beginner" category below. If you are currently and regularly performing activities at the "beginner" level, you may want to increase to the "intermediate" level. If intermediate in regular activity level, then look at the "advanced" activity level. See below for more details on each level.

The whole idea is to increase your current activity level in order to burn more calories, but to do so safely. If you are not on any regular regimen of exercise currently, don't jump into the "advanced" level of activity. As your stamina and health improve, raise through the categories slowly. Then stick with it! Make it a habit. Maintaining your exercise program will help keep unwanted pounds off.

Exercise Program Component

The exercise program you find here consists of two components, aerobic and resistance, and is designed to be performed at home. If you desire to work out at the gym simply follow the same or similar protocol.

  • Aerobic exercise will help reduce stress, strengthen the heart and lungs and burn calories.
  • Resistance exercise will firm and tone the body that will make you look and feel better and improve your self-esteem. Increasing your lean muscle on your body will increase your metabolism and in turn help you burn more calories even while at rest.
  • Resistance exercise will also increase your endurance so that daily activities become easier, such as climbing stairs, lifting groceries or children, mowing the grass etc...
  • Studies have also shown that resistance training can help counter the effects of muscle strength loss, which we all are subject to as we get older, strengthen the bones and counter the effects of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

It is not unusual to experience slight weight gain, especially at the beginning of any resistance exercise program. This should be short term however, so don't be alarmed.

Warm Up

Before beginning any exercise session we strongly recommend 10 minutes of warming up. First we recommend stretching of all the major muscle groups in the area(s) to be exercised. This will stimulate circulation to the muscles, warm them, and increase elasticity preventing muscle strain. Second, we recommend light jumping jacks, or walking/marching in place while swinging the arms side to side. Working all of the major joints of the upper and lower extremities in this way will help to lubricate the joints, and again prevent injury.

Cool Down

Just as important, we recommend you follow the exact same protocol in reverse following your exercise session. First light jumping jacks, walking/marching in place while swinging the arms side to side, then stretching of all the major muscle groups in the areas exercised.

Caution

If you notice any pain or discomfort while exercising, if headaches develop or you begin to feel nauseous or short of breath try reducing your rate of exercise as well as the length of time of the exercise. If you still experience the same feelings please discontinue the exercise and consult with your physician before continuing the exercise portion of your program. To locate a doctor near you just search on LocateaDoc.com.

Exercise Levels

Below is the protocol for each exercise level. Choose the one that best builds upon your current activity level. To recap, if you currently don't exercise, you will probably want start in the "beginner" category. If you are currently and regularly performing activities at the "beginner" level, you may want to increase to the "intermediate" level. If intermediate in regular activity level, then look at the "advanced" activity level.

Beginner Level

Aerobics: Approximately 15 to 20 minutes, 2 to 3 days per week

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Roller blading
  • Jogging
Resistance: 8-12 repetitions per exercise per day, 2 days per week
  • Push ups - Keep your hands shoulder width apart and your back straight
  • Abdominal crunches - Be careful not to stress the neck
  • Standing Squats - Keep the feet shoulder width apart and your heels flat on the ground - Try not to let your knees bend past your feet

 

Intermediate Level

Aerobics:Approximately 20 to 40 minutes per day 3, days per week

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Roller blading
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Cardio-kickboxing
  • Tae Bo
Resistance:2 sets of 15-18 repetitions per exercise per day, 3 days per week
  • Push ups - Keep your hands shoulder width apart and your back straight
  • Abdominal crunches - Be careful not to stress the neck
  • Standing Squats - Keep the feet shoulder width apart and your heels flat on the ground - Try not to let your knees bend past your feet
  • Bicep curls - Use 5 to 10 pound dumbbells. Keep your elbows at your sides. (Seated or standing)
  • Leg Curls - Lying on your stomach and using 5-lb. ankle weights
  • Shoulder rotation - Standing, do one set of each in each direction. Small circles forward (then back), Medium circles forward (then back), Large circles forward (then back)

 

Advanced Level

Aerobics: Approximately 50 to 60 minutes per day, 3 days per week

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Roller blading
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Cardio-kickboxing
  • Tae Bo 4
Resistance:3 sets of 20-25 repetitions per exercise per day, 3 days per week
  • Push ups - Keep your hands shoulder width apart and your back straight
  • Abdominal crunches - Be careful not to stress the neck
  • Standing Squats - Keep the feet shoulder width apart and your heels flat on the ground - Try not to let your knees bend past your feet
  • Bicep curls - Use 5 to 10 pound dumbbells. Keep your elbows at your sides. (Seated or standing)
  • Leg Curls - Lying on your stomach and using 5-lb. ankle weights
  • Shoulder rotation - Standing, do one set of each in each direction. Small circles forward (then back). Medium circles forward (then back). Large circles forward (then back).

 

An experienced weight loss physician  in your area will review your medical history, help you lose weight and map out a customized program that best suits your health and lifestyle goals to keep it off for the long run.

 

 

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