Tone Up and Lose More Weight
Sure, exercise is important for losing weight. In fact, weight loss without increased activity is impossible for many people. But the kind of exercise you do can make your weight loss even more significant. While cardio workouts are great for getting the heart pumping and the calories burning, you need to build muscle mass if you want those calories to keep flying off while you’re sitting around doing nothing. That’s why it’s important to do exercises that tone your body while you exercise.
Adding a pound of muscle mass will cause you to burn up to 50 extra calories per day, even when you’re just sitting down. Imagine how much faster you could lose weight if you replaced 10 lbs of fat with muscle? Plus, on a normal diet, you lose muscle mass along with the fat. This slows your metabolism and causes you to gain weight when you eat normally again. If you add muscle mass instead, you keep burning more calories and are more likely to keep the weight off.
Exercises like running, biking, and swimming can burn hundreds of calories per hour, but have much less benefit after the exercising is done. While they can increase muscle mass, the increase is not nearly significant as lifting weights. Weight lifting burns fat while you work out, and continues to burn after you stop. And the more weight you can lift, the more calories you’ll burn each time. This means the stronger you get; the faster you’ll burn through your fat reserves.
With many exercise programs, doing too much too quickly can be dangerous. This is especially true with weight training. Using too much weight can not only stress your muscles, it can also cause permanent damage to tendons and ligaments. Not to mention the dangers of being crushed or trapped by extreme weight. When using weight training, always start slow and build your way up. And remember to use a spotter when lifting significant amounts of weight.
Remember that weight training should not replace a cardio workout. For best results you should alternate between aerobic exercise and weight training. This gives you the benefits of both to power maximum weight loss.