Exercise Leads to Weight Loss

This is my final installment, in a series of 5 articles, that argues against some recent sensationalist media headlines suggesting that exercise leads to weight gain! Don’t believe the hype! Regular exercise, together with a healthy eating programme, will lead to weight loss, and will help you to maintain this weight loss for life.


So what type of exercise will lead to weight loss? It is true that all forms of exercise will help with weight loss, but if you want results fast, then it is a special combination of exercise you need.


Cardiovascular exercise works the function of your heart and lungs and raises your heart rate. Your metabolism is raised during, and for several hours after, your workout, depending on the duration and intensity of your workout. So if you walk, swim, run or use the Crosstrainer you are burning calories for many hours after you’ve kicked off your trainers!


If you want to make the most of your cardiovascular session, Interval Training is the way to go. Moving through phases of intense work followed by a rest period, and then repeating this sequence several times, creates an interval-training programme. The following sequence can be used with any form of cardiovascular exercise:


1 min easy 2 mins hard 1 min easy 2 mins hard 1 min easy 3 mins hard


That makes a 10-minute interval programme, where ‘easy’ means you work at a moderate pace (recovery phase), and ‘hard’ means you push yourself as hard as you can (work phase). You can repeat the 10-minute interval as many times as you like. The result will be a higher heart rate, a greater calorie burn and an elevation of your metabolism for a longer period of time once your exercise session has finished.


Unlike cardiovascular training, which lifts your metabolism for only several hours after training has ended, muscular weight training will elevate your metabolism for good. When you train your muscles, you develop lean muscle tissue in your body, as the muscle fibres grow and swell. This results in your body being made of more metabolically active tissue, because the bigger muscles need more calories to function. This means that even when you are sleeping days after your weights workout, your body will be burning more calories as you sleep, simply because you have more metabolically active lean muscle tissue.


When you do a muscular strength programme, you want to train all the major muscle groups in the body. The following programme will only take you 10-15 minutes; the idea is that you move quickly between exercises, which will maximise your heart rate during the workout. If you want to work harder, either do a second set of all the exercises, or add a little more weight to the one set that you have time for:


Squats – 20 reps Push-ups – 20 reps Lat Pulldown – 20 reps Alternating forward lunges – 30 reps Shoulder Press – 20 reps Abdominal plank – 1 minute Tricep pushdowns – 20 reps Glute raises – 20 reps Bicep curls – 20 reps Side plank – 30 seconds each side


There are many variations of the above exercises, which you can do both at the gym and at home. If you sign up for the WeightMatters Newsletter we will put you on our mailing list, and in 2010 we will give you free access to the new membership area of our website where you will be able to download workout videos and special articles for members.


So to maximise weight loss with exercise, here is a summary of the principles:


  1. Combine cardiovascular interval training with a fast-moving total body muscular weight training regime
  2. Progressively increase the duration, intensity and frequency of the exercise that you do in a week
  3. Plan when you will do your workouts and get motivated by having a clear goal to aim for
  4. Combine your exercise programme with a healthy eating plan
  5. Enjoy your new fitness levels, your weight loss, your improved body image, greater levels of self-esteem and your new positive outlook on life

Anyone can apply these ideas to their life. At the WeightMatters Clinic we work as project managers to help you fine-tune your eating, exercise and psychology to create lasting weight loss. Start today and apply the information I have shared with you from these 5 articles, and you will become your own project manager for weight loss success!