How Much Does Exercise Really Help You Lose Weight?
The average person understands that they need to eat a healthy, nutrition-filled diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight. But just how much does exercising actually help you lose weight? Every day on television and the Internet there are dietary supplement and diet claims of significant weight loss without exercising. So why can’t you just change your diet to lose weight, instead of having to sweat and exert yourself with physical exercise?
Part of the answer has to do with what goes on inside your brain, and inside your body, when you exercise. Dieting is great, and totally changing your daily and weekly nutritional intake is even better. But without exercise, you can always regain unhealthy weight and fat if you slip off of your diet, and change back to your unhealthy approach to eating.
Concerning exercise, any time you ramp up your physical exertion to 80% of your maximum level, a wonderful thing happens. You begin to elevate your heart rate to what researchers say is the most efficient level for cardiovascular health. Your metabolism is also spiked, which helps you burn fat, in turn reducing the amount of unhealthy weight on your body.
And several hours after even a short 20 minute exercise regimen, your body is still burning fat, pumping oxygen to your muscles, and benefiting you in several ways. There is no mistake that you should immediately and critically take a look at the food you ingest on a regular basis, and make whatever healthy changes you need in that area.
However, the external and internal physical benefits you receive from regular exercise include so many that simple nutritional changes can never deliver. Just as importantly, you also benefit from a life-changing boost in self-esteem and self-worth that comes from the perception you and others have of your new, slimmer, trimmer body.
So, how much does exercise really help you lose weight, and how much must you do to benefit? The American College of Sports Medicine recently declared that just 200 to 300 minutes (3.3 to 5.0 hours) of weekly exercise will help you lose extra weight, improve your heart health, boost mental performance and help you live longer.
That means just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking, jogging, practicing yoga or Pilates, or engaging in some other moderate to aggressively strenuous activity can help you not only lose unwanted weight, but can help you keep it off long-term.