People across the world have become obsessed with weight loss. Everything from our sedentary lifestyles and high-fat and sugar diets has led to an explosion in obesity and related illnesses. The only problem with our singular focus on weight loss was and still is that weight loss is only one factor that determines a person’s health.
Calories generate the fuel that your body’s cells need to function. It’s when an excess is consumed that the extra calories are stored in your body as fat. Sugar, previously thought unrelated, has also been shown to be a significant cause of weight gain as well. What can we do to combat this?
The True Role of Exercise in Weight Loss
Exercise directly does not play a huge role in weight loss. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine by the School of Physical and Health Education in Queen’s University, exercise does not translate into any significant weight loss in the long-term. Ready to quit the treadmill? Hold on a second.
Although not directly linked to substantial weight loss, consistent exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers, osteoporosis as well as improve quality and length of sleep, sexual performance and most importantly for our discussion, metabolism.
Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions in your body that transform food into energy. This means that an increased metabolism will convert more of the food you eat into energy and store less of it in fat cells. Exercise has been shown to increase a person’s resting metabolism rate which ensures that although you want to eat more, less of that food is converted into fat and thus you stay as your healthy, fit self.
How Exercise Can Change Your Life
The hormonal changes that come from a person exercising are magnificent. Although exercise doesn’t directly impact weight loss, the variety of factors it influences do. For example, researchers have found that dieters that cut back on sleep over a 14-day period lost 55% weight from fat even though they consumed the same amount of calories.
Similarly, exercise’s positive effect on a person’s mood and motivation also allows people to better stick to their diets rather than reverting to old norms. At the end of the day, even though factors such as sleep and nutrition are the most important for weight loss, exercise can go a long way to indirectly make your weight loss goals a reality.
What Type of Exercise is Best for Weight Loss?
Fitness stores and centres are sure to sell you whichever program best suits their financial interests, your goal should be your health interests. Contrary to what many believe, going to the gym and “getting those gains” is not effective for weight loss.
Exercise is broken down into 2 categories: anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic means “without oxygen” and refers to high-intensity training done for short periods of time, usually involving weight lifting. This type of exercise is most effective for building bone and muscle mass but not as effective for weight loss. Aerobic on the other hand, meaning “with oxygen” refers to low to medium-intensity training done for longer periods of time such as swimming, running or cycling. Aerobic and not anaerobic, is the type of exercise you should be focusing on for weight loss.
Best Ideas for Home Exercise
Nowadays, take the gym with you to wherever you feel most comfortable. Work out at home with your own schedule and move along at your own pace. For the best and most effective results, start out with a full-body workout.
Those starting out are at a higher risk of getting injured while working out due to overexertion and/or focusing too much on one body part while neglecting another. The best solution is to start out with low to medium intensity workouts (i.e. aerobic) focusing on the whole body. Remember, the goal is to lose weight, not to show off your biceps and 6-pack.
Best Kettlebell Exercises
Start with the bell just in front of you while standing with your feet apart at hip width. Try to keep your back straight while bending down and reaching to pick up the kettlebell. Drag it back behind you underneath your legs before using your hiccups to swing the kettlebell up and in front of you to about chest height.
This is a perfect exercise with kettlebells for improving your core and grip strengths while also being a key beginner’s exercise to ensure you don’t overexert yourself by building your body’s physical conditioning.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Either hold the handle with both hands from the top or hold the base of the kettlebell up with both hands before bringing the kettlebell eight under your chin. Once the bell is settled, squat down while keeping your back and torso straight, stand back up and repeat.
This simple to learn, yet effective exercise is perfect for working your entire lower body. Squats capture everything from your glutes and hamstrings to quads and core. Kettlebells’ focus on your lower body is also crucial for better balance and decreasing your chances of injury in the future.
Best Dumbbell Exercises
Hold one dumbbell up by the base with both hands at chest level or two by your sides before taking a step forward or backwards and bend your knees. When bending, ensure that your legs don’t touch the ground and try to keep the bend as close as possible to a right angle (90 degrees).
Another great lower body exercise, lunges with dumbbells keep your core and leg muscles engaged for better stability and endurance in the future.
Weighted Russian Twist
A more advanced exercise, this involves sitting with your feet off of the ground and leaning your upper body back slightly. Hold the dumbbell at chest level with both hands before moving the dumbbell over to one side. You then proceed by alternating sides, thereby twisting your body.
Dumbbells really work on your obliques, core, lats and more adn is THE exercise for building core strength.
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