Everybody has a weight loss theory, but one thing everyone agrees on is that exercise is the key to lasting weight loss. Some weight loss gurus will tell you that some kinds of exercise "won't do you any good" and that you must follow their plan in order to reap any benefits. When you encounter this attitude, it's usually best to smile, nod and go your merry way. Common sense will tell you that any exercise done consistently and well will do you good. You should choose the exercise you enjoy best and are most likely to pursue for lasting results.
One of the very best types of exercise to follow for weight loss is aerobic exercise. If you take an aerobics class or workout with an aerobics video, you will burn a significant amount of calories; however, classes and video workouts are not the only ways of getting a good aerobic workout. You can also enjoy running, brisk walking, cycling, indoor cycling, dancing and many other forms of active, enjoyable exercise to increase your heartbeat and respiration.
No matter what you choose, it's important to keep your body challenged for optimum results. One really good thing to do to keep your body challenged as you exercise is a technique called interval training. With this method, you would exercise very briskly for five minutes, and then you would exercise more gently for two or three minutes. This has the effect of increasing your metabolism on the spot and helping you burn more calories.
Even though aerobic type exercise is the real calorie burner in the weight loss world, it's best not to do only aerobics; you should also do some strength training to increase your muscle mass, this has the effect of helping you lose weight more quickly because having good muscle tone increases your metabolism. Of course, strength training also has the effect of sculpting and toning your body as you lose weight and helping you get rid of sagging skin where fat used to be.
You can alternate aerobics one day, and weight training the next day, or you can combine your aerobics, and weight training and do something else, such as swimming, yoga, Pilates or cycling on the alternate days. It's a good idea to vary your workout throughout the week so that your body does not become too efficient at any one set of exercises. Challenge your body by mixing it up a little bit in your choice of workouts.
When you combine aerobics and weight training, you simply add light weights to your aerobic workout. It is not advised to use heavy weights because the increased pace might cause you to injure yourself. You can use 3-5 pound weights to add a little bit more challenge to lunges, squats and other types of exercise that focus on the lower body. It's best to use actual hand weights rather than wrist weights because you will have more control over them than the wrist ones. No matter what you choose to do to exercise for weight loss, be sure you choose workouts that you enjoy and will stick with. Consistency is the real key to losing weight with exercise and do not forget that with exercise, your brain also reaps the benefits.