Every health professional or nutritionist advises patients that exercise is important. Every new piece of research confirms it. Exercise helps prevent disease by strengthening your immune system. It make you feel better, sleep better, work better. It improves your appearance. It raises your energy level. It even lifts your mood. And proven beyond all doubt, exercise helps you loose and control weight.
The connection between exercise and weight control is as simple as it is obvious: Exercise burns calories. Specifically, it builds and strengthens muscles, and muscle cells burn calories more efficiently than fat cells do. And since weight gain or loss is a matter of using up more or less calories than you take in, exercise is an important part of the weight-loss battle.
But there are other factors as well, some hidden but proven virtues that also play a big role. Infact, the ultimate equation for weight loss according to Dr. Howard M. Shapiro is:
Lower-calorie food choices + Light or structured exercise = weight loss.
Research increasingly confirms that even short bouts of exercise, spaced intermittently throughout the day, enhance your overall fitness and contribute to weight control. A brisk walk up and down the stairs, ten minutes of lifting homemade weights, a quarter of an hour on the stationary bike all provide boosts to your system. And, say researchers, what counts is the total accumulation of exercise in a 24-hour period. In other words, whenever you exercise, it is beneficial.
If you want to start the weight-loss program, it is time to start an exercise program as well. Eating healthy low-calorie foods, together with exercise can help you control your weight for the rest of your life—and can also help keep you fit, trim, vigorous, and the picture of health.
Of course, say the word exercise and the picture that inevitably comes to mind is that of the professional athlete. That’s not what is expected. It is unnecessary to have your body shredded like a fitness coach, it is something to likely aim for, but that level of training and fitness isn’t what you need to help you with weight loss.
For the kind of exercise suggested, you do not need to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. You don’t even need to take up a sport. All of those are fine ideas, but if you don’t particularly like sports, or you cannot afford a gym membership, maybe you don’t even like the idea of a gym, you still have lots of opportunities for exercise. There’s only one slight challenge: getting enough of it.