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Top 7 Tips To Develop An Effective Exercise Program For Weight Control
By Raymond Lee
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Regular physical exercise is an absolute must for a healthy metabolism. Exercise is also an effective strategy for weight control because it causes a favourable shift in body composition, increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat. The greater your muscle mass, the greater your fat-burning capacity. When you diet to lose weight, most of the reduction comes from loss of water. In addition, dieting lowers your basal metabolic rate (BMR). In other words, your body slows down to compensate for the reduced caloric intake, thus keeping your weight basically the same. Exercise has been shown to compensate for a reduced BMR due to caloric restriction, and it helps your body lower your set point, the weight to which your body naturally returns. Here are some tips to help you develop an exercise program.
- Make It Fun
If you like what you are doing, you have a better chance of sticking with it. Find a workout buddy and plan to exercise together. For example, you and your neighbours might enjoy taking brisk walks early in the morning or in the evening.
- Stay Motivated
If you are goal-oriented, set realistic targets for your exercise – more laps, more lifts and keep track of how you are doing. Reward yourself when you reach your goal. Vary your routine to avoid boredom. Read exercise books or magazines for tips on getting the most out of your program and learning other exercise strategies.
- Exercise Regularly
You need to commit to your exercise plan. Exercise at least three times a week throughout the year. Some people find it easier to exercise every day, so that it becomes a habit. With strength-training exercise, however, it is recommended taking a day off to allow your body to recover.
- Recognize Exercise
You need to recognize the importance of physical exercise. Make regular exercise a top priority in your life.
- Give Yourself Time To Exercise
To do you the most good, exercise must cause an increase in your heart rate and must be sustained for a minimum of twenty minutes. It is recommended that exercising in this way three times a week is usually enough to provide you with benefits. In fact, more frequent exercise of longer duration is even better. Aerobic exercise-movement that increases utilization of oxygen includes walking briskly, jogging, bicycling, cross-country skiing, swimming, aerobic dance, and racquet sports. Strength-training exercise, such as lifting weights, is just as critical to long-term weight control as aerobic exercise because it is able to build muscle mass.
- Before Starting, Consult Your Physician
This is especially important if you are over forty years of age. Suddenly launching into vigorous exercise when you are not used to it can cause dangerous strain on your heart. Regardless of your age, before exercising see a physician if you are a smoker of if your have known heart disease, high blood pressure, or irregular heartbeat. Consult a doctor if you become breathless with moderate exertion or if you experience pain or pressure in your chest, arm, teeth, jaw, or neck during exercise.
- Monitor Exercise Intensity
This is determined by measuring your heart rate (beats per minute). To check your pulse, put your index and middle fingers on the opposite wrist or on your neck just below the jaw. Count the number of beats in twenty seconds and multiply by three. This is your resting heart rate per minute. Your goal should be to increase your heart rate to within the appropriate training rate range for the duration of aerobic exercise (say twenty minutes). The training rate depends on your age. To determine your rate range, subtract your age from 185 to get the top of the range, and subtract another twenty to determine the bottom range. Thus a forty-year-old would have a target training heart rate of 125 to 145 beats per minute. Do not exceed the higher figure in this range.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: January 14, 2008