Fitness Level

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AEROBICS EXERSICE FOR LOSING WEIGHT

 

Aerobic Exercise - Fitness Level 1 

Individuals at Fitness Level 1 have not regularly participated in an exercise program and should begin slowly. The following is only a guideline, you should consult a physician prior to beginning any new exercise program!. Most experts in the field recommend beginning with 3 times per week, 20-30 minutes per session. If you cannot work for 20 minutes to begin with that's OK, just keep at it until you reach the 20 minute mark. (In order for your heart to benefit, you should try to exercise aerobically for a minimum of 20 minutes.) 

The key is to begin slowly and gradually work up to more exercise. People who jump right into exercising 5 or 6 times a week will burnout and probably injure themselves in the process. For weight loss, the longer you can exercise at your target zone, the better. Research has shown that during the first 20 minutes of aerobic activity, you body burns glycogen (carbohydrates) that you're body has stored. It's only after the 20 minute mark that your body starts looking toward the fat cells for energy (when the body runs out of glycogen, it starts breaking down the fat cells). In addition to aerobic exercise, you should also do some form of strength training. Strength training can be floor work (such as abdominals, push ups, tricep dips etc...) or it can be work with hand weights, weight machines, rubber bands, tubing etc... 

At this fitness level, you should try to train 2 times per week for 20 minutes each session. The last thing you should do while exercising is some form of stretching. In addition to relieving muscle aches/pains it will reduce your chance of injuring muscles. You should stretch before you start exercising and after you are done. If you are exercising aerobically 3 times per week, stretch 3 times per week (5 minutes before and 5 minutes after should be adequate). You should try to stretch major muscle groups such as: Quadriceps (front of the upper thigh), Hamstrings (back of the upper thigh), Calves (Gastrocnemius(upper) and Soleus(lower)), Gluteus Maximus and Shoulders/Chest. 

When stretching, try to hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. If you begin this program and stick with it, you'll notice that it isn't hard enough for you. Maybe your weight loss has leveled out or you don't feel challenged anymore. When this happens, you are ready for Fitness Level 2. Good luck and happy exercising!! 

Aerobic Exercise - Fitness Level 2 

Individuals at Fitness Level 2 have been exercising on a regular basis (about 3 times per week) but are not achieving their weight loss goals. There is a set point at which your weight loss will stop. This will occur when the amount of calories you eat equals what you expend. When you reach that point, you either need to exercise more,or eat less. As long as you are expending more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. (As with any new fitness program, you should consult your doctor prior to making any changes.) 

Many people believe that cutting calories is the answer. If you are eating a high calorie, high fat diet, cutting calories and fat grams will help. However, you do have to eat - do NOT starve yourself on a diet that is less than 1,000 calories per day. If you do this, your body will go into a survival mode- basically it will store what you do eat as fat. A healthier, better approach is to lengthen your aerobic workouts to 30-40 minutes and to exercise 4 times per week. By lengthening your workouts, you will burn more calories and your body will go to the fat cells for energy after the glycogen(carbohydrate) stores have been depleted. (Glycogen stores are usually depleted after 20 minutes of aerobic exercise.) 

In addition to aerobic exercise, you should also do some form of strength training. Strength training can be floor work (such as abdominals, push ups, tricep dips etc...) or it can be work with hand weights, weight machines, rubber bands, tubing etc.. At this fitness level, you should try to train 3 times per week for 20 minutes each session. The last thing you should do while exercising is some form of stretching. In addition to relieving muscle aches/pains it will reduce your chance of injuring muscles. You should stretch before you start exercising and after you are done. If you are exercising aerobically 4 times per week, stretch 4 times per week (5 minutes before and 5 minutes after should be adequate). You should try to stretch major muscle groups such as: Quadriceps (front of the upper thigh), Hamstrings (back of the upper thigh), Calves (Gastrocnemius(upper) and Soleus(lower)), Gluteus Maximus and Shoulders/Chest. When stretching, try to hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. If you begin this program and stick with it, over time you'll notice that it isn't hard enough for you anymore. Maybe your weight loss has leveled out or you don't feel challenged. When this happens, you are ready for Fitness Level 3. Good luck and happy exercising!! 

Aerobic Exercise - Fitness Level 3

Individuals at Fitness Level 3 have been exercising at a high level of intensity and on a regular basis (about 4 times per week). At this level, most people will lose weight. If you are not losing weight, see your doctor (there may be a medical reason for your problems with weight loss). 

You can also examine what you are eating and when you are eating by keeping a food diary. (Write down everything you eat and how many calories it is.) Sometimes people eat when they aren't hungry and most people eat more food than they think - a food diary will help you identify and control what/when you eat. 

There is a set point at which your weight loss will stop. This will occur when the amount of calories you eat equals what you expend. If you are eating a healthy, well balanced diet and feel you need to exercise more to loose weight, then try increasing the number of aerobic workouts to 5 times per week, 30-60 minutes per session. By lengthening your workouts, you will burn more calories and your body will go to the fat cells for energy after the glycogen(carbohydrate) stores have been depleted. (Glycogen stores are usually depleted after 20 minutes of aerobic exercise.) 

When you exercise at this level, you are more likely to experience overuse problems such as tendonitis, plantar facitis, etc... Make sure you are doing a variety of aerobic activities that utilize different muscle groups and different motions (not all involve stepping or pushing off on the toes).

  • You need to listen to your body - if an exercise starts to bother you, immediately change to something else. Overuse injuries start off as a nuisance and if they are not taken care of, they can become a major problem - you may not be able to exercise at all for an extended period of time.

In addition to aerobic exercise, you should also do some form of strength training. While aerobic exercise gets rid of your body fat, strength training will help build and tone your muscles. A body that is muscular has a higher metabolism than a body that isn't. Strength training doesn't mean you are going to get large and bulky (which is a major concern for many women). If you train using less weight with a high number of repetitions, you will tone your muscles and you won't bulk up. Strength training can be floor work (such as abdominals, push ups, tricep dips etc...) or it can be work with hand weights, weight machines, rubber bands, tubing etc... At this fitness level, you should try to train 4 times per week for 30 minutes each session. The last thing you should do while exercising is some form of stretching. In addition to relieving muscle aches/pains it will reduce your chance of injuring muscles. You should stretch before you start exercising and after you are done. If you are exercising aerobically 5 times per week, stretch 5 times per week (5 minutes before and 5 minutes after should be adequate). You should try to stretch major muscle groups such as: Quadriceps (front of the upper thigh), Hamstrings (back of the upper thigh), Calves (Gastrocnemius(upper) and Soleus(lower)), Gluteus Maximus and Shoulders/Chest. When stretching, try to hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds.

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