Exercise For Weight Management And Health: Tips For Getting Started
Exercise • • minute to read • By INFS, INFS Faculty
Exercise is a crucial element in weight management. While diet plays an essential role in weight maintenance, exercise can significantly contribute to achieving weight management goals. This article will discuss the role of exercise in weight loss and weight gain, its benefits, tips for incorporating exercise regularly. Don’t miss the detailed FAQs for a better understanding.
The Role of Exercise In Health & Fitness
As any seasoned exercise expert will tell you, exercise plays a crucial role in weight management. Let us break it down for you:
A. Exercise and Weight Loss
While exercise alone may not result in significant weight loss, it can undoubtedly enhance your weight loss efforts when combined with a balanced diet. Studies have shown that exercise also helps manage various diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension.
B. Exercise and Weight Gain
If you’re worried about weight gain, incorporating exercise into your routine can help prevent it. Research has shown that physically inactive individuals are more likely to gain weight over time than those who engage in regular physical activity, such as exercising for 150 to 300 minutes each week. By maintaining a regular exercise routine, you can also maintain your caloric expenditure and consume a healthy portion of food for weight maintenance.
C. Exercise and Body Recomposition
Are you looking to improve your body composition and build lean mass? Exercise is your answer! For beginners, exercise can help preserve and increase lean mass, leading to body recomposition. To increase muscle mass, incorporate a proper exercise program and consume a caloric surplus diet.
D. Exercise and Well-being
Exercise has numerous benefits for your overall well-being. In addition to boosting confidence and lowering the rates of depression, exercise can help you manage over-caloric expenditure, providing a healthy outlet for your energy.
Remember, incorporating exercise into your routine can significantly improve your weight management efforts and overall well-being.
Other Health Benefits of Regular Exercise
Exercise is not only important for weight management but also has numerous health benefits. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of exercise in detail.
Boosting Energy Levels
Do you often feel fatigued and tired? Exercise can help boost your energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good and energized. Regular exercise also increases your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body converts food into energy.
Improving Sleep Quality
Do you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep at night? Exercise can help improve the quality of your sleep. When you exercise, your body temperature rises, and after you finish exercising, your body temperature drops, promoting restful and restorative sleep. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety, which can interfere with sleep.
Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases
Are you at risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, or obesity? Exercise can reduce the risk of developing these diseases. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and lower blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Enhancing Cognitive Function and Mental Health
Do you struggle with cognitive function or mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or stress? Exercise can enhance cognitive function and promote better mental health. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function, memory, and learning. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Improving Immune System:
Do you frequently fall sick or get infections? Regular exercise can improve your immune system, reducing the risk of infections and illnesses. Exercise increases the production of antibodies and white blood cells, which are essential in fighting off infections and diseases.
Some Popular Types of Exercise and Workouts
If you want to be consistent with exercise, it’s important to pick an activity you enjoy. If you love running, put on your running shoes and head out the door.
Gradually, you can start looking at other options which can help you reach your fitness goals faster.
Here are some exercise routines that you can explore:
Start with bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks. Gradually add resistance with weights, resistance bands, or machines as your strength improves. Research shows that lifting weights or doing resistance training for at least 2 to 3 times a week combined with a proper meal plan can help you get fit and stay healthy.
Begin with low-impact exercises like walking, cycling, or swimming. Aim for 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as you get fitter.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Begin with short, high-intensity intervals, followed by recovery periods. For instance, you could sprint for 30 seconds and walk for 60 seconds. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your intervals over time.
Walking & Running
Start with a 10-minute walk, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your walks over time. Once you’re comfortable with walking, add short intervals of jogging or running. Over time, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your runs.
Start with beginner-level yoga classes or online videos. Focus on learning proper form and breathing techniques. Gradually increase the duration and difficulty of your yoga practice as your flexibility and strength improve.
Getting Started With Resistance Training
Resistance training, also known as strength training, involves using weights or resistance bands to build and tone muscles. It is an effective way to lose weight because it helps build muscle mass, which in turn increases metabolism and burns more calories even while at rest. Here are some tips for starting a resistance training routine for weight loss:
- Start with a warm-up: Before beginning any workout, it’s important to warm up your muscles. This can be done through stretching or doing a light cardio exercise like jogging or jumping jacks.
- Choose the right weight: It’s important to choose a weight that is challenging but still allows you to maintain proper form. Start with a weight that is comfortable and gradually increase as you get stronger.
- Focus on compound exercises: Compound exercises, which work multiple muscle groups at once, are the most effective for weight loss. Examples include squats, lunges, push-ups, and pull-ups.
- Do circuit training: Circuit training involves performing a series of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in between. This is an effective way to burn calories and build muscle at the same time.
- Include rest days: It’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recover after a resistance training workout. Aim for at least one or two rest days per week.
Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Still Not Sure How To Begin Exercising?
If you still have doubts about which exercise to pick or how to get started, here are some tips to help create an exercise routine for weight management:
- Consult with a Professional: Consult with a physical activity professional to develop a personalized exercise plan based on your individual fitness level, weight management goals, and medical history.
- Choose a Variety of Exercises: Incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine, including cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. This variety helps prevent boredom, challenges the body, and targets multiple muscle groups.
- Increase Activity Levels Gradually: Start with low-intensity activities and gradually increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of the exercises. This gradual approach reduces the risk of injury and helps the body adjust to the increased physical activity.
- Set Realistic Goals: Set realistic and achievable goals for weight management and track progress over time. Celebrate small milestones to stay motivated and committed to the exercise routine.
- Find a Support System: Find a support system, such as a workout buddy or a fitness group, to stay accountable and motivated throughout the weight management journey.
- Make Exercise a Part of Your Lifestyle: Make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle and incorporate physical activity into daily routines. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a walk during lunch break, or do some stretching during TV commercials.
By incorporating these tips into your exercise routine, you can effectively manage your weight and improve your overall health and fitness levels. Remember, consistency is key, and it’s essential to stick to the routine to see long-term results.
Adding Exercise And Physical Activity Into Your Daily Life
Although exercise has numerous health advantages, it can be difficult to stay consistent. In addition to exercise, staying physically active throughout the day also has a number of health benefits, apart from helping you burn extra calories and reach your weight loss goals faster. Here are some tips that can help:
Get out of a chair and walk for 2 minutes every 30–60 minutes:
Incorporating short bursts of physical activity throughout the day can help boost physical activity levels.
Connect with Physical Activity Professionals to Create Individualised Programs That Work for You
Seeking help from physical activity professionals can help develop individualised exercise programs that work for personal goals.
Utilise Mobile Apps to Track Daily Activity
Fitness apps like FITTR can help track your daily activity levels, and promote accountability and motivation. For example, FITTR’s Step Counter tracks your daily steps and even reminds you to stay active. You can share your daily steps count on the Accountability Groups and even motivate other members of the community to complete their daily activity goals.
Find an Exercise Partner:
Having an exercise partner can help increase accountability and motivation, making exercise more enjoyable and less of a chore.
Make Exercise Enjoyable:
Engage in physical activities that are enjoyable, such as dancing, swimming, cycling, hiking, etc.
Exercise is probably one of the best investments you can make for your long-term health. The key is to get started and be consistent.
Remember, it’s always important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine. Additionally, listen to your body and start slowly. With time and consistent effort, you’ll develop strength and fitness in the type of exercise that best suits you. If you want a more detailed guide for creating your own Resistance Training workout plan, check out this article.
How long does it take to see results from exercising regularly?
The time it takes to see results from exercise can vary depending on individual factors, such as starting fitness level, type and intensity of exercise, and dietary habits. However, with consistent exercise and a healthy diet, you can expect to see noticeable improvements in fitness and body composition within a few weeks.
- How often should I exercise?
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. This translates to around 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. However, it’s essential to find a routine that works for you and fits into your schedule.
- Can I exercise if I have a medical condition?
It depends on the medical condition and severity. Before starting an exercise program, consult your doctor to determine if exercise is safe and which activities are appropriate for your condition.
How do I stay motivated to exercise regularly?
Staying motivated to exercise regularly can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can try, such as setting realistic goals, tracking progress, finding an exercise partner or community, and making exercise enjoyable by choosing activities you enjoy.
- Can I lose weight by exercising alone?
While exercise alone may not result in significant weight loss, it can contribute to weight management efforts by burning calories, increasing metabolism, and reducing body fat. To lose weight, it’s essential to combine exercise with a healthy, calorie-controlled diet.
- Is it necessary to join a gym to exercise?
No, you can exercise at home, outdoors, or in a community center. There are many free resources available online, such as workout videos and fitness apps, that can help you create a home exercise routine.
- Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association. Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Yardley JE, Riddell MC, Dunstan DW, Dempsey PC, Horton ES, Castorino K, Tate DF. Diabetes Care. 2016 Nov; 39(11):2065-2079.
- The role of exercise and physical activity in weight loss and maintenance. Swift DL, Johannsen NM, Lavie CJ, Earnest CP, Church TS Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Jan-Feb; 56(4):441
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