Fitness & Diet Articles

Strength Training For Weight Loss Success

Why Diets Don’t Work

If you go “on a diet”, what does that mean? That you will eventually go “off the diet”. If you haven’t changed your eating and physical activity behaviors, what’s going to happen? Rationally, you know the answer, but emotionally, you engage in wishful thinking, hoping that this time you will lose the weight and keep it off. What weight are we talking about? When people tell me they lost 12 pounds in two weeks, I ask “12 pounds of what?” On low-calorie diets, about 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle (Ballor & Polehlman 1994).

Losing muscle is a bad thing. Muscle tissue is very active–it burns a lot of calories. Every pound of muscle burns about 35 calories per day, just staying alive. Using the above example, if you lost 12 pounds, then, you lost three pounds of muscle. You would be burning 105 less calories per day or 3150 per month. Since there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, you would gain almost one pound of fat per month just from the muscle mass that you lost!

Why the Middle-Aged Spread Keeps Spreading

Inactive adults lose around one-half pound of muscle per year, or five pounds per decade. Since most people continue to eat as much as usual, what’s going to happen? If you take in more calories then you burn, the extra calories get stored as fat. Fat is less dense then muscle—a pound of fat takes up more room than a pound of muscle. This means that as you lose muscle and gain fat, your weight might remain the same over the years, but your waistline will continue to expand!

Rev Up Your Metabolism–The Key to Permanent Weight Loss

How can we lose and keep off extra fat? You need to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the pace your body burns calories at rest. Your RMR is closely linked to the amount of muscle you have–remember, muscle burns more calories than fat. Adding muscle will raise your RMR and will greatly increase the chance that the weight loss (more accurately fat loss) will be maintained.

Strength Training Versus Aerobic Exercise

Contrary to what many people think, strength training is as important, maybe more important to successful fat loss than aerobic exercise. The reason lies in the amount of calories that are burned when you aren’t exercising. Depending on the intensity and your weight, an aerobic workout (walking, cycling, stair stepping) will burn approximately 300 calories per hour. If the exercise is strenuous enough (which is unlikely in the beginning exerciser) the RMR will be elevated temporarily up to a few hours afterwards. Compare this to strength training which elevates the RMR permanently. The RMR accounts for 60 to 75 percent of your daily calorie expenditure, so even a modest increase will help burn off more fat.

One study (Campbell 1994) found that a three-month basic strength-training program resulted in the subjects gaining three pound of muscle and losing four pounds of fat, while eating 370 more calories per day (a 15 percent calorie increase). Remember, aerobic exercise generally doesn’t increase muscle tissue. In fact, excessive amount of aerobic exercise combined with a low-calorie diet can cause the loss of some muscle tissue. This is not to say that overweight individuals shouldn’t do aerobic exercise–it offers many health benefits and is a part of a weight loss program. It’s just that aerobic exercise by itself may not be the best solution for permanent weight (fat) loss.

Don’t think that you need to workout in a gym for two hours to strength train. Significant gains can be made with a consistent 30-minute workout performed 2 -3 times per week. This could be your key to successful weight control!

5 Main Components of Physical Fitness

Overall physical fitness can be maintained only if an individual exercises regularly and leads a healthy lifestyle. This article reveals the 5 main components of physical fitness.

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato (Greek philosopher)

Before we dwell into the five main components of physical fitness, you should understand the meaning of physical fitness. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has defined physical fitness as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relate to the ability to perform physical activity”. In layman’s language, an individual is physically fit if he is able to lift a heavy weight or run a long distance. However, if you really want to measure the overall fitness of a person you have to take into consideration the five components of physical fitness.

5 Main Components of Physical Fitness

The five main components of physical fitness include “Cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition”.

Cardio-Respiratory Endurance

Cardio-respiratory endurance is one of the five components of physical fitness. You can define cardio-respiratory endurance as the ability of the heart to pump blood rich oxygen for the functioning of your muscles. The ability to remain fit without feeling tired or fatigue during physical exercise measures the physical fitness of a person. Swimming, cycling, walking, jogging and aerobics are the classical examples of exercises and sports related to cardio-respiratory endurance. Try the above-mentioned exercises and sports to improve the fitness level of your cardio-respiratory endurance.

Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance is sometimes confused with muscular strength. The ability of the muscle to perform an action without feeling fatigue is known as muscular endurance. It is related to muscular strength and cardio-respiratory endurance. To increase the fitness level of muscular endurance, try exercises such as jogging, bicycling and dancing.

Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is one of the five components of physical fitness. The muscular strength is measured by maximum amount of strength a muscle has while lifting or during an exertion. In short, muscular strength is the ability of the muscle to exert strength during a workout or an activity. The physical fitness of muscle strength could be improved through exercise such as lifting weights.

Physical Flexibility

One of the major components of physical fitness is physical flexibility. The fitness level is measured by the flexibility of your joints. If you have good flexibility in the joints, injuries related to joints could be prevented. The exercises such as stretching and swimming would help to improve the physical flexibility.

Body Composition

To know your fitness level you need to understand your body composition. The reason is body composition directly relates to the overall fitness level. The fat, muscle, bones and other vital organs of the body are known as the body composition. The overall physical level of an individual depends on his body composition.

The physical fitness of a person depends not only on the above-mentioned components but is a result of his lifestyle, nutrition, and basic habits.

Increase your metabolism…pump it up!

Cardiovascular activity has many health benefits and is an essential component in a healthy balance in managing your shape. It is also often the first activity that people default to when starting a new fitness routine.

Cardiovascular activity has many health benefits and is an essential component in a healthy balance in managing your shape. It is also often the first activity that people default to when starting a new fitness routine.

Cardiovascular activity helps to boost your metabolism, but primarily only during your workout. Resistance training may burn fewer calories during the workout but it helps you to increase your metabolism twenty-four hours a day!

Your resting metabolism rate (RMR) is the rate at which you burn energy or calories at rest. Your RMR is the main factor in your overall energy expenditure for the day, accounting for approximately 65-75% (1) of your total metabolic rate. The remaining amount results from activity, digestion and other metabolic functions.

Your resting metabolism changes throughout your life. It actually drops by about 25% between the ages of six and eighteen (2)! Why so dramatic? You may have heard that muscle burns calories faster than fat. True – muscle is what we call “metabolically active”. Other metabolically active tissues include the heart, liver, lungs, brain and kidneys. These tissues are in a higher proportion in children than in adults, so as we grow the proportion changes and resting metabolism goes down. Although it doesn’t sound fair, there’s not much we can do about this drop!

After the age of eighteen, your resting metabolism can drop between 2-3% per decade (3). Notice the word “can”. This drop in our metabolism doesn’t necessarily have to happen but typically results from a loss in muscle mass, so you definitely want to keep what you have! One pound of muscle requires between 35-50 calories a day to function (4). This compared to one pound of fat, which takes fewer than 3 calories per day to function! If you don’t lose it, you really will lose it – your muscle and metabolism that is.

An interesting fact to note is that inactive women lose muscle mass twice as fast inactive men (5). You can lose one-quarter to one-half pound of muscle per year and if you are inactive you can lose five to ten pounds of muscle between the ages of forty and fifty-five (6)!
The good news is that you can stop the madness and make a change for the positive at any age and stage in your life.

Adding just five pounds of muscle can result a 10% increase in your resting metabolic rate (7). Translation…it becomes much easier to manage your shape without having to give up the occasional indulgences you enjoy!

Whether your goal is to maintain or build muscle mass, a great guideline for intensity to keep all of your exercises or activity comfortable but challenging. That’s a common measure used in research and it will always grow with you.

The bottom line is that muscle conditioning isn’t just for bodybuilders, it’s an essential fitness component for any age for better health and long-term results.

Why is it Important to be Healthy?

Have you ever thought of why is it important to be healthy? Have you realized the importance of your physical and mental health? Read on and find out.

Health, by definition, is a state of physical, mental and social well being. It implies the absence of infirmity or disease, but their mere absence does not define health. Earning and maintaining health is an active process. Good health is a result of proper nutrition, regular exercise, health care and hygiene. One of the most important factors determining the mental health of an individual is his/her happiness quotient. Hence, effective stress management forms a vital factor in remaining healthy.

Why is it Important to be Healthy?

Human beings are the most important assets of a nation. It is people who drive the world, it is we who make the world go round. The absence of health can make the world come to a standstill. Do I seem to be exaggerating? I am not. The absence of health can actually mean passivity, unhappiness and gloom. Would anyone like to live in a somber atmosphere? Would we be able to thrive in an unhealthy atmosphere? The true definition of health brings out the real essence of a healthy life. The concept of being healthy is a composition of different facets of life. It includes physical well-being, which can be brought about by a healthy diet and exercise; it constitutes the maintenance of health through proper precaution and cures for physical ailments. The conveniently ignored facet of being healthy is the mental well-being. One’s happiness and positivism are highly influential in the maintenance of one’s health.

To progress in life, one needs to receive some sort of formal or practical education and then earn one’s living. To meet one’s basic needs in life and survive; one needs to be healthy. Different streams of education involve different amounts of physical and mental activity. Physical and mental activity is an integral part of every profession or field of work. To perform these activities effectively, one needs to be healthy. At almost every walk of life, one needs to socialize. During one’s years of education, one is required to socialize with one’s classmates. Similarly, human interaction accompanies every form of work. Most of the professions need collective efforts of teams. For each individual of a group to be able to give his/her best, it is important for the individual to be healthy.

As a part of society, every human being has a set of duties to perform. Each individual has certain family responsibilities as also some responsibilities towards the society. For an individual to be able to shoulder these responsibilities, it is important for him/her to be healthy. To make progress in a society, to work towards the betterment of society, to contribute to an overall social welfare and thus be a valuable asset of society, it is extremely important to be healthy.

As one grows from a child to an adult, one’s set of rights and responsibilities expands. In order to perform one’s duties and implement one’s rights effectively, it is absolutely important to be healthy. To raise a family, to bring up your children, to take care of the aged in your family, you need to be healthy.

Health and happiness go hand in hand. To live life to the fullest and enjoy every bit of it, it is extremely important for us to be healthy!

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