One of the most important keys to losing weight is to build muscle. Muscle tissue is metabolically active and burns a lot of calories even while you are resting or asleep. If you lose weight without exercising, you might lose about 2 lbs. of muscle for every 5 lbs. that you lose. That is why, when people constantly gain and lose weight, they end up fatter than before they went on the diet. They might lose 10 lbs., with 4 lbs. of that weight being muscle. When they gain it back, it is all fat. This slows their metabolism down until it becomes harder and harder to lose any weight at all.
The process of getting older increases the middle age spread also. Inactive adults lose about a half a pound a year, and, since they eat as before, the extra calories get stored as fat. So what is the key to losing fat and keeping it off? You have to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the rate your body burns calories while at rest. Your MR depends on the amount of muscle you have.
Adding muscle will raise your MR. and will greatly increase the chance that your weight loss (more accurately fat loss) will be maintained.
The second key to exercise for weight loss is cardiovascular exercise. Most experts agree that you need, at least moderate exercise to bring about any significant weight loss. This will burn fat as well as achieving improved cardiovascular fitness.
To get the most health benefits from aerobic activity, you should exercise at a level strenuous enough to raise your heart rate to your target zone. Your target heart rate zone is 50 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (the fastest your heart can beat). To find your target zone, look for your age. For example, if you are 35 years old, your target heart rate zone is 93-138 beats per minute.
20-30 years THR 98-146 beats per min. Ave Max 195
31-40 years THR 93-138 beats per min. Ave Max 185
41-50 years THR 88-131 beats per min. Ave Max 175
51-60 years THR 83-123 beats per min. Ave Max 165
61+ years THR 78-116 beats per min. Ave Max 155
To see if you are exercising within your target heart rate zone, count the number of pulse beats at your wrist or neck for 15 seconds; then multiply by four to get the beats per minute. Your heart should be beating within your target heart rate zone. If your heart is beating faster than your target heart rate, you are exercising too hard and should slow down. Keep in mind some activities/classes offer an opportunity to tap into your max for short durations. That is ok – and actually incredibly effective. You just want to make sure that you are not hanging out there for an extended amount of time. If your heart is beating slower than your target, you should increase your activity level. If you have a heart rate monitor I would encourage you to wear it during your activity and use it as a gauge.
People ask me all the time – what is the best form of exercise – my answer is “whatever you can consistently do with some level of enjoyment” Notice I said some level – I have clients that HATE working out. They would rather be doing anything …..but we try to find something that they enjoy! The reality is you may be a cardio bunny but hate strength work or the opposite could be true. I challenge you to find some combination of cardio/strength that you can stick to long enough to see the results! Interesting enough – once you see the results the game changes, clients that hated working out now love it – they love how they feel! They love how they look! If you are in a rut or haven’t quite found that balance between strength/cardio- message me I would be happy to help!
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My best for yours~