You know that in order to lose weight you need to take in fewer calories than you burn off. We’ve already talked about various ways to give yourself a weight loss edge by eating healthy, low fat foods. The other piece of the puzzle is to exercise regularly to burn off excess calories.
It’s not necessary to join a gym or participate in aerobics classes to burn up fat. You can burn calories by just climbing the stairs, cleaning the house, riding a bike, working in the garden, or just by walking thirty minutes every day. You don’t even have to work up a sweat to burn calories while exercising. Studies have proven that people who take a brisk walk for thirty minutes every day burn body fat, improve their physical fitness, and lower their blood pressure, as much as, if not even more than, people who work out at a gym three to four days per week. Even two fifteen minute walks per day will give you the same fitness and fat burning benefits as a thirty minute walk every day.
And weight loss isn’t the only reason you should get moving. A recent study from a major university showed that sedentary women, in addition to gaining weight in their abdomens, buttocks, and thighs, increased their deep fat that surrounds the internal organs of the body. This increases the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. The study also showed that moderate exercise five times per week for thirty to forty minutes decreased the deep fat by more than 35 percent and resulted in considerable weight loss over a three month period.
Exercise will help boost your energy as well. With the advent of the computer age, people are forced by design to do less and less physical labor. It would seem logical that this would result in more energy being available for other activities. However, how many times have you noticed that the less you do, the more tired you feel, whereas the more active you are, the more energy you have for other activities? Exercise improves the efficiency of the lungs, the heart, and the circulatory system in their ability to take in and deliver oxygen throughout the entire body. This oxygen is the catalyst that burns the fuel, food, we take in to produce energy. Consequently, the more oxygen we take in, the more energy we have for all of our activities.
Oxygen is the vital ingredient that is necessary for our survival. Since oxygen can’t be stored, our cells need a continuous supply in order to remain healthy. Exercise increases your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the air so that increased amounts of oxygen are available for every organ, tissue, and cell in the body. Exercise actually increases the total volume of blood, making more red blood cells available to carry oxygen and nutrition to the tissues and to remove carbon dioxide and waste products from the body’s cells. This increased saturation of the tissues with oxygen is also aided by the opening of small blood vessels, which is another direct result of exercise.
So let’s take that first step for energy, fitness, and real weight loss. Exercising every day whether by walking, riding your bike to work, taking the stairs, or hitting the gym will keep a fresh supply of oxygen surging through your blood vessels to all of your body’s hungry cells. Don’t disappoint these little fellows, because you depend on them as much as they depend on you. If you shortchange them on their daily oxygen supply, they’ll take it out on you in the form of illness and disease, but if you give them what they need, they will repay you with better health.