Was one of your New Year's Resolutions to lose weight? If so, losing weight is mathematically very simple: Eat less, move more. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories. To lose 20 pounds over the course of a year without changing your diet, you would have to burn approximately 200 extra calories per day.
With cardiovascular exercise, your goal is to burn fat. Biking, walking, swimming, etc. is what really ignites your fat burning machine. There are 2 types of cardiovascular exercise: Steady state cardio and interval cardio.
Steady-state Cardiovascular Exercise
Steady-state cardio means you walk, bike, etc. for a specific period of time at a steady pace. It's important to get your heart rate into its target zone and keep it there for at least 30 minutes. If you are just beginning a cardio exercise program, your first 4 weeks of exercise should be steady state cardio.
Examples of calorie burn for common cardiovascular exercises is as follows:
- Walking at 3.0 mph; approximately 195 calories/hour
- Walking at 3,5 mph; approximately 225 calories/hour
- Riding an exercise bike at 10-12 mph; 354 calories/hour
- Swimming laps; 400 calories/hour
Interval Cardiovascular Exercise
Interval cardio alternates higher intensity exercise periods with periods of lower intensity exercise. Interval cardio can help you burn more calories and fat. Start with just 30 to 60 seconds of exercise at the higher intensity, and as you get into shape, slowly increase the duration of the higher intensity work. This will allow you to burn fat quicker.
Another important component of weight loss is strength training. These exercises will boost your overall metabolism by building muscle which has the ability to burn more calories even at rest. You do not need to go to the gym, or invest in expensive exercise equipment to stoke up your fat burning potential. You can simply use your body weight for resistance. Doing exercises such as squats, push-ups and lunges just 3 times per week will go a long way toward building muscle in your arms and legs to increase your fat burning potential. The first couple of weeks of strengthening may not be fun. You can expect some soreness, which is necessary in building muscle. After-exercise soreness means you are getting stronger. But remember to start easy, and progress slowly.
More than the programs ...
At The Pain Center, all of our doctor's and therapists see patients outside of the programs. If you have a new injury, significant stressor, severe pain flare-up or need to adjust your home exercise program - come back to the team that you trust. We're happy to help.
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