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Weight Loss & Exercise

by Zywie on March 25, 2013

Weight Loss & Exercise

Weight Loss is 50% mindset and the other 50% is mostly eating well. Exercise does not have more than 10% role to play in weight loss but it is critical in weight maintenance. Since my problem is not weight loss (I have lost my total body weight at least 3 times in my life), exercising 5-6 days a week on an ongoing basis and the right mix of aerobic, weight training and stretching is key to the longevity of my weight loss.

I do yoga 4-6 days a week so stretching and weights are not a challenge for me. The last time I did aerobic exercise was when I ran after a client to return his sunglasses to him. I have not been walking, biking or running regularly for at least a year. This post, gentle reader, is way to commit myself to doing aerobic exercise 5-6 days a week. I walk and bike. Will report on how both are going in a few weeks.

We need 3 kinds of exercise for optimal health:

  1. Aerobic
  2. Stretching
  3. Weight training

Kinds of Exercise for Optimal Health

Research shows that an hour of exercise 6 days a week (330 minutes) is great if you can do it. Of this ~50% should be devoted to aerobic activity and the rest divided between stretching and weights.

If you have to choose one, data shows that it should be aerobic exercise. Research shows High Intensity Intervals (HII) are superior to other kinds of aerobic activity in following effects:

  • Keep blood vessels clean to prevent heart attacks and strokes
  • Chase away depression and anxiety
  • Produce the most weight loss
  • Help retain sharp memory well into old age
  • Produce a sense of wellbeing by making endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make the brain feel that all is well with the world.

To be effective aerobic exercise has to have the following characteristics:

  • Frequent (5-6 times a week)
  • Containing at least some periods of intense activity (high intensity intervals)
  • It can be Short (17 to 25 minutes)

Here is short primer to help you get started on how to do high intensity aerobics. Good Luck!

Very few exercises are truly aerobic.

  1. Brisk walking
  2. Running
  3. Elliptical
  4. Stair master
  5. Cross country skiing are all truly aerobic.
  6. Swimming and bicycling are somewhat aerobic but not ideal since we do not carry the full weight of our bodies. The water and bike buffer our weight.

High Intensity Intervals (HII) are the quickest way to get aerobically fit and are great for both cardiovascular and mental health. Here is how to do HII. Say walking is the aerobic exercise of your choice.

  1. Warm up for 3 minutes.
  2. Now go all out; walking as fast as you can for 30 secs.
  3. Now walk at an easy but not slow pace for 3 minutes.
  4. Again walk as fast as you can for 30 secs.
  5. Repeat the above intervals until you have completed 4 “As fast as you can” intervals.
  6. Cool down at an easy pace for 3 minutes.
  7. The whole workout takes 17 minutes.
  8. Do not walk fast for longer than 30 secs otherwise you will start pacing yourself but in those 30 secs give it all you have.
  9. Go as fast as you possibly can. You should be gasping towards the end of that 30 sec period and the 4th interval should be significantly harder than the first one. If it is not, you are not pushing yourself hard enough during the fast intervals.

The primer on High Intensity Intervals is reprinted with permission of Zanjabee Integrative Medicine from Patient Resources section of www.zanjabee.com. Thank you for letting me use it!

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