Many people report an increase in self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being when they lose weight. A sense of accomplishment follows them as they continue to make strides in changing their lifestyle.
Fad diets and false promises of quick weight loss generally lead to failure. These quick fixes do not encourage sustainable changes found in a healthy diet and regular exercise. Keeping the weight off requires effort and commitment, which requires getting off the couch and starting to move. This applies to everyone, including men, women (pregnant or not), children, and seniors.
While healthy eating is extraordinarily important for long-term weight control, this article focuses on the other thing that is very important – regular exercise. Below is information on a complete exercise plan for beginners, and includes links to multiple wellness resources.
Exercises for Weight Loss
Weight loss does not happen overnight. It takes a great deal of dedication to lose weight, usually by changing eating habits and exercising regularly. This two-step approach to weight loss may not produce the miraculous effects found in a “magic pill,” but it does guarantee long-lasting results. The dietary changes restrict calorie intake while exercising boosts the body’s metabolic rate. When used in combination, a calorie-burning effect occurs that leads to weight loss. In general, every exercise routine burns calories; however, aerobic exercises tend to produce the best results.
- Aerobic Exercise Trumps Resistance Training for Weight and Fat Loss: According to Duke researchers, aerobic exercise trumps resistance training for weight and fat loss.
- Exercise to Lose Weight: WebMD defends aerobic exercise as the outlet for achieved fat loss.
- Exercise and Activity for Weight Loss: Medline Plus shares basic exercises and activities that anyone can do around the house to promote weight loss.
- Popular Swimming Pool Workouts: Follow these swimming pool workouts to burn calories and lose weight.
- Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour: The Mayo Clinic shares a chart with calorie-burning exercises that will help shred the fat in under an hour.
Exercises for Weight Maintenance
Weight maintenance poses the greatest challenge of the weight-loss journey. Many people accomplish their desired weight and then slip back into their old routines. Some may continue to exercise, but fall back into eating unhealthy foods. Others may continue to eat healthy, but neglect to exercise regularly. Weight maintenance requires commitment to live an all-around healthy lifestyle. While this can be a continuous struggle, it only requires sticking to the same game plan that led to the initial accomplishment. In other words, stick with what works and it will bring steady results. The best exercises for weight maintenance include moderately intense physical activities, such as swimming, biking, running, and walking.
- Physical Activity, Weight Loss and Weight Regain: An educational webpage that explains the importance of sticking to a strict diet and exercise routine to maintain weight loss.
- The Elusive Weight Maintenance: A webpage that shares effective strategies to maintaining effective weight loss, including moderately intense physical activities.
- Weight Maintenance and Loss through Proper Nutrition and Exercise: McGraw Hill explains how to achieve weight loss and maintain it through proper nutrition and exercise.
- Physical Activity and Adults: The World Health Organization shares the recommended level of physical activity for people of all ages in order to maintain their weight and overall health.
Exercises for Toning
Many people want to take their weight loss and maintenance program further by transforming their body with toning exercises. Toning exercises aim to increase muscle definition and shape while continuing to lower body fat. People incorporate a variety of exercises to tone muscle groups, including cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. Optimum nutrition also plays a role in toning muscle. Popular muscle groups targeted for toning include arms, legs, thighs, glutes, abs, and calves.
- 8 Workout Moves for a Toned Body in Two Weeks: Glamour Magazine shares eight workout moves that target the muscle groups that respond quickest to strength training, including arms, shoulders, calves, and lower abs.
- Top Toning Exercises Without Equipment: Use these ten body-weight exercises to help tone key muscle groups.
- 11 Best Exercises to Get Strong, Toned Arms: Incorporate these toning exercises to work key muscle groups in the arm, including biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and core.
- Effective Toning Exercises for Women: Women’s Fitness shares toning exercises for women using a bosu and kettlebells.
- 10-Minute Home Toning Workout: Use this ten minute home toning workout to target core muscle groups in the bum, abs, legs, and arms.
Exercises for Muscle Building
Many people may move beyond toning a lean body to building mass. Muscle building incorporates resistance training to build strength. People may use their own body weight or equipment to achieve the desired results. Optimal nutrition also plays a role in building muscle.
- 10 Strength-Building Strategies That Will Never Die: Follow these ten strength building strategies that have stood the test of time.
- Strength Training Exercises: A webpage that explains the science behind strength building, also known as resistance training, using body-weight and equipment.
- No Dumbbells Required: 5 Strength-Building Exercises: The top five strength-building exercises that anybody can do almost anywhere.
Exercises for Pregnant Women
Most people cringe at the thought of pregnant women exercising. The myth that exercising will hurt the baby does not hold true. In fact, pregnant women can benefit from exercising in many ways. It helps build strength, flexibility, and weight maintenance. It also helps to prepare for the labor of giving birth. Pregnant women should consult a qualified health professional before starting any exercise program to avoid incurring injuries.
- Pregnancy Fitness: Parents.com offers workout programs for pregnant women of all stages.
- Exercise and Pregnancy: The American Pregnancy Association shares a handful of exercises that pregnant can do safely without harming the baby.
- Basic Prenatal Exercises: Pregnant women should do these exercises to remain fit.
- Exercising During Pregnancy: An article that describes the importance of exercising during pregnancy under the guidance of a qualified health professional.
- The Best Exercises in Pregnancy: Use these exercises while pregnant to help prepare for the physical challenge of giving birth.
Exercises for Seniors
Seniors no longer have an excuse to remain sedentary. Seniors can do moderately intense exercises to keep themselves in optimal shape. Many play volleyball, golf, and bowl. Others run, walk, and swim in their off time. In addition, chair-bound seniors can still exercise to keep themselves healthy. It is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified health professional before beginning an exercise program.
- 10 Low-Impact Exercises for Seniors: HowStuffWorks shares ten low-impact exercises that seniors can do without injuring themselves.
- Exercise and Fitness Over 50: Seniors can follow these simple exercises to keep in shape.
- Benefits of Exercise for Seniors: Read this article to better understand the importance of exercising as a senior, and watch the video clips for inspiration.
- Exercise and Seniors: Seniors can follow these simple exercises to stay in shape, including wall push-ups, chair squats, bicep curls, and shoulder shrugs.