Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article # 399. How Many Hours Should You Work Out per Day to Lose Weight?
If you want to lose weight, you'll need to burn more calories than you consume. The ideal way to burn more calories is to combine a low-calorie diet with regular exercise. However, you also may accomplish weight loss through exercise alone. No single form or duration of exercise is ideal in all cases, so you'll need to tailor your exercise program specifically to your weight loss goals. Always consult your health care provider before starting a weight loss regimen, especially if you suffer from chronic illnesses.
The amount of daily exercise you need to lose weight depends on factors such as your body type, the amount of calories you eat and the type of exercise you intend to do. For example, you would need to walk more than 30 miles to burn about 1 pound of fat if you are a medium-sized adult with an average metabolism. However, you also would need to reduce or hold steady your caloric intake to lose weight at this rate. You could divide the miles anyway you want to achieve your desired weight loss. It's considered safe to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.
To maintain a healthy weight, adults need about 2-1/2 hours of moderate cardio, such as fast walking or running, weekly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strength training at least 20 minutes twice weekly also is an important aspect of weight control because lean muscle burns more calories. Strength-building activities include yoga and weightlifting. Remember to target all major muscle areas.
If you're already physically fit, engaging in high-impact aerobics or using a climbing treadmill will help you burn calories faster than walking or water aerobics. However, you won't reap the benefits of picking up the pace if you are easily fatigued. Dividing your daily exercise into 10- to 20-minute sessions may help combat fatigue. Alternately, switching paces during your workout, known as interval training, will help you burn more calories and improve your cardiovascular fitness, according to MayoClinic.com. One way to train in intervals is to alternate between 40 seconds of running and 40 seconds of walking.
Exercise is good, but too much can be counterproductive. You may burn out by adding just 10 minutes to your run if you're new to it. However, adding tennis or kickboxing to your workout routine may cause sore muscles and fatigue even if you're adept at running. According to the American Council on Exercise, you may be overtraining if you notice decreased performance, poor coordination, high resting blood pressure and morning pulse, trouble fighting infections and illnesses, lack of appetite, poor sleep, stomach disturbances, depression or extra headaches, muscle soreness and musculoskeletal injuries. Rest for a few days and consult your physician. Once you receive the OK to return to exercising, start gradually.