Most nutritionists and fitness experts agree that exercise is absolutely key to long-term, successful weight loss and maintaining a slimmer figure. Simply dieting is not enough especially since most people usually give up or cheat on their diet plans. Moreover, exercising has additional mental benefits. The endorphins released during exercise provide a natural high, making people feel energized and refreshed.
Cardiovascular workouts such as running, jogging, walking, swimming, dancing and cycling are best for maximum calorie-burning and most efficient weight loss. The reason cardiovascular exercise is the most beneficial for weight loss is because it burns the most calories, and the main formula for weight loss is calories burned exceeding calories consumed. It is recommended that people devote 30 minutes to an hour at least three times a week to some form of cardiovascular exercise. Even spending as little as 10 minutes a day walking or jogging can make a significant impact on weight loss. The beauty of cardiovascular exercise is that it can be done outside of the gym.
Early in the morning or a few hours before bedtime, go outside with a walking buddy, your dog or by yourself and walk around your block at least once. Start out walking slow then increase your pace by small increments every time. If you get comfortable with the walking routine, progress to light jogging and go from there as you become more accustomed to the exercise.
It's a general rule that the more muscle mass a person has, the more calories he burns on a daily basis. Lifting weights, using weight-training equipment or using your own body weight to do push-ups and leg-lifts all help to build lean muscle mass. According to Dr. Laina Shulman, a pound of lean muscle helps the body burn 35 to 50 calories a day while at rest. Using this formula, 10 pounds of muscle will help the body burn 350 to 500 calories a day without exercising. Thus, it is of great benefit to try and build lean muscle mass through strength training in order to maximize the amount of calories you burn while sleeping or just lounging around the house.
Incorporate about 10 minutes of strength training into your workout at least three times a day. Bench presses, bicep curls, abdominal crunches, leg extensions, lunges and squats are some of the most basic strength training workouts. You can start with smaller weights (like 3- to 5-pound dumbbells) and gradually add on more as your muscles get used to it.