Most of us know that we should exercise more. Finding the time, the inclination and a form of exercise that we enjoy are three big barriers to doing regular exercise.
A Danish study can help you out a little with the time element; the study shows that exercising for just 30 minutes a day can be as effective as working out for an hour or more.
Sixty heavy but healthy Danish men were monitored for a period of 3 months. Each participant was given a heart rate monitor and a calorie counter and asked to exercise each day until they broke into a sweat. Half exercised for an hour every day, while the other half exercised for 30 minutes.
Following the 13 week trial period, the men who exercised for 30 minutes a day lost an average of 3.6 kg (almost 8 lbs.) whilst those who exercised for an hour a day lost an average 2.7kg (6 lbs.).
Why is Less More?
There are a number of possible explanations for the increased weight loss success for the 30 minute exercisers. It could be that a thirty minute exercise session is less daunting and easier to fit into a busy day. Or it could be that the people who exercised for 60 minutes a day ate more before or after their workout, negating the effects of their exercise, a theory that fits in with a Canadian study that found people overestimate the number of calories consumed during exercise.
How Does Your Body React to Exercise?
Exercise doesn’t just help you to lose weight; it can help you to live longer too. It can improve your heart, lungs and blood flow, as well as your muscles.
When you exercise the movement in your body causes your heart to pump blood more quickly around your body to provide your muscles and organs more oxygen. This is why you breathe more deeply during exercise. Your capillaries (small blood vessels) enlarge to allow more oxygen to be delivered to your muscles and to take carbon dioxide and lactic acid away. Your body also produces endorphins, natural painkillers to heal and sooth tired muscles and joints, making you feel great after a workout.
All of these physical responses to exercise are a result of increased activity within the cells, burning more energy and taking fat stores from the body, causing weight loss.
It can be difficult to get started on losing weight and exercising more, especially if you are overweight. Exercise is a lot tougher if you are obese, and losing weight is tougher if you can’t exercise. Taking small steps (literally) and giving yourself realistic goals can help.
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If you are struggling to lose weight, weight loss surgery could be the best start for you. It will enable to change your diet, your lifestyle, your body and your exercise routines, for good.
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