Health

Controlling Your Weight With Exercise

workout in gym bar

Excess weight can be a serious health problem because it increases the risk of developing serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and many more. Being overweight elevates the risk of heart disease by raising the blood pressure and the cholesterol level. Choose the right exercise program and diet to lose weight and keep your heart healthy.

Being underweight, on the other hand is also associated with illnesses like heart ailments, low immunity or lower resistance to diseases chronic fatigue, anemia, depression and others. Having a perfect baby and the ideal weight is rather difficult but not unattainable.

Several factors influence your weight – your genes, physical activity and diet. You can yourself find out if your weight is ‘healthy’. Stand in front of the mirror and try to figure out which body shape you have. Are you pear shaped, with excess fat on the lower body, buttocks and thighs? Or are you apple shaped—with more body fat on your upper body around your abdomen? An apple-shaped person is at more risk for illnesses than his pear-shaped counterparts.

Body Mass Index (BMI), a relationship between height and weight, is another indicator of whether you have proper weight or you are overweight or obese. Today weight management takes a healthy perspective incorporating nutritious diet, exercise, strength training and activity. Diet alone is not sufficient to attain a healthy weight. It is essential to burn your calories by engaging yourself in any kind of activity and/or exercise. Your energy intake or food, and your energy output or physical activity should be balanced. If you take in more calories than your body needs, you will put on weight. If you spend more energy than you take in you will be able to burn excess fat.

Recent studies show that exercise increases metabolism during a workout, and helps sustain it even for a long time after exercise, allowing you to burn more calories.

The extent of exercise needed to make a difference in a person’s weight depends on the amount and kind of activity undertaken by the person in addition to his diet. Research suggests you should be burning up at least 2,000 calories a week through exercise (which is more than the recommended 30 minutes of moderately intensive exercise at least 5 times a week). Other suggests 66 minutes of exercise a day. This is a large demand on time, but can be easily achieved if you manage your time well.

Aerobic exercise burns body fat. If you consume 100 calories a day more than your body needs, you will gain approximately 5 kg in a year. You could lose that excess weight by doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Combining exercise and diet is the most flexible and effective approach to weight control.

Losing body fat can make you look and feel better and can reduce your risk of obesity. Maintaining a healthy body weight eases pressure on your bones and joints, which can help prevent conditions such as arthritis.

exercise back view

Obesity and Weight Loss

Exercise is most effective for weight reduction. Regular physical activity along with a balanced diet helps you maintain weight. Lowering your body mass index (BMI) can help you live a healthy life. Also exercise reduces your risk of many medical conditions, improves your self-esteem and gets you rid of anxiety, stress and depression.

For obese individuals, if you want to prevent unhealthy weight gain, experts advice 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity everyday, while keeping your calories in check. Whatever exercise you choose, it will help to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and using up calories. Once you arrive at the chosen weight, it is difficult to maintain it unless you workout regularly and burn as many calories as you eat.

Research suggests that although genetics plays a vital role in causing obesity, physical exercise can reduce the impact of genetic tendency to being overweight. Variations of the fat mass and obesity (FTO) associated gene is linked with a high BMI. Exercise can thus help genetically prone obese people to keep the weight off.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) 2007 guidelines, people with high metabolic rate and those with relatively high daily energy expenditure may nor gain weight as compared to those with low metabolic rate and those with low energy expenditures. Therefore increasing physical activity with controlled calorie intake can lead to weight loss while exercise alone may not lead to desired instant results.

When we talk about metabolic rate, it is the rate at which body burns up calories. For instance, if you consume 2,500 calories in a day and you burn 2,500 calories a day, there will be no change in your weight. But if you consume 2,500 calories and burn only 2,000, you will gain at the rate of about half a kg per week. You can speed up your metabolism or burn up your calories with regular exercise along with nutritious frequent meals, eating protein-rich foods etc.

Most people aiming at weight loss become frustrated and give up. The mathematics of energy spending is not difficult. Say you brisk walk for 30 minutes five days in a week; you may take three weeks to lose around merely half a kilogram. This indeed can be disappointing. In general for an imminent weight loss programme calorie intake is more important that calorie burning from exercise. And yet exercise does play a role in helping you stay fit.

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