NEWS | Sept. 1, 2015

Proper Exercise + Healthy Diet = Weight Loss

By 628th Medical Group

Have you ever wondered why you can run countless miles or use the elliptical machine for hours on end and you still can't lose weight? So you research the next workout fad or up-and-coming supplement but those too leave you with little to no results.  Perhaps the next time you're on a computer, you need to research dieting plans to meet your fitness goals or overall health goals.  This article will inform you how combining proper exercise with a healthy diet will not only help you lose weight but it will make it easier to keep that weight off.  You will also read about the different types of exercise you could do to help assist you with weight loss and improve your overall health.

Diet combined with exercise is the most effective way to not only lose weight but to maintain that weight loss.

Specifically, researchers have found that adding exercise to dieting will assist in the increasing the amount of body fat lost.  More importantly, researchers found the most critical role of developing a routine exercise regimen during a diet is maintaining the weight loss after the diet is complete.  Those who incorporate exercise as part of their weight loss regimen were able to maintain the weight loss longer than those that did not.  Time to get exercising!  Below are some helpful hints.

EXERCISE DURATION:
· At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (minimum of 150 minutes per week). It is preferable to exercise all days of the week to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic health problems.
· However, this may not be enough for substantial weight loss!
· The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 200-300 minutes of exercise per week (2,000 kcal/wk).
· Benefits can be achieved even if you split the exercise throughout the day into 10-15 minutes blocks of time (with a minimum of 30 accumulated minutes per day).

EXERCISE INTENSITY:
· The more intense the activity the more calories burned per minute.  However, the key to weight loss through exercise is long term compliance.  So, you want to choose an exercise intensity you can maintain!
· Moderate intensity exercise (55-69% maximum heart rate) can be beneficial for management of body weight.
· More vigorous activity (>70% maximum heart rate) may be required to maintain body weight long-term. However, don't overdo it and get injured!
· One way to track your intensity is through monitoring your heart rate before exercising and immediately upon stopping the exercise. During the exercise, stop again and check the heart rate to make sure you are exercising enough to get the full aerobic effect on your body.
· You should be able to carry on a conversation during your exercise without becoming breathless.
· The more conditioned you become, the more you will notice that you have to do even more vigorous exercise to get your heart rate up to its target.

AEROBIC EXERCISE:
The most common form of exercise to help lose weight is aerobic exercise, such as walking, biking, running or usingthe elliptical machine.  It is important to choose an activity you enjoy so you will stick with it over time.

TIPS FOR STARTING AN AEROBIC EXERCISE PROGRAM:
· The type and intensity of your exercise depends upon your health and activity level.
· Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
· Warm-up before and cool-down after exercise.
· Check your pulse during exercise to ensure you are exercising at your target.
· Start your exercise program and progress slowly.
· Choose exercise activities that you will enjoy and continue (there are many to choose from:  walk, bike, ski machine, stair machine, jog, swim, etc.).
· Progress up to 30-60 minutes of exercise 5 days per week ( avoid daily high impact exercise). every day such as running)
· Be consistent!  Schedule your exercise and keep at it regularly.
· Commit to exercising for 12 months. After that, you may notice  exercise has become a part of your life you do not want to give up.
· If you feel that other members of your family would benefit from an exercise program, encourage them to exercise with you. Your children would benefit by starting them at an early age to appreciate the value of a good exercise program.

CAUTION:  Before starting any exercise program, discuss it with your physical therapist or doctor to find a program appropriate for you.  Aerobic exercise increases the blood flow to the muscles, increases the work of the heart, increases the oxygen capacity and overall improves functioning of the heart, lungs and circulatory system. When a person's heart is "fit", the person can exercise vigorously for long periods without severe fatigue. The person is able to respond to sudden physical or emotional demands without as much strain to the heart or body. All the exercises mentioned in this handout are aerobic exercises.

See your doctor or physical therapist before starting exercise if:
· You are over 40 and not accustomed to exercise
· Have a history of heart disease, a heart murmur or have had a heart attack
· Have a family history of premature (less than age 50) heart disease or heart attacks
· Have a history of high blood pressure or you do not know your blood pressure
· You have pain or pressure in the chest, neck, shoulder or arm after you exercise
· You experience extreme breathlessness after mild exertion
· You have joint, bone or muscle problems
· You often feel faint or have spells of severe dizziness
· You have diabetes
· You have any other medical condition or are on daily medication


EXERCISE PRECAUTIONS
· Stop exercising before reaching maximum exertion or pain. Do not continue to exercise with a painful knee or hip.
· Stop exercising if you feel any chest pressure or tightness and see your doctor.
· If you are unusually breathless during the exercise, stop the exercise for at least one day, and decrease the intensity of the exercise. If the feeling persists, consult your doctor.
· Be aware of the temperature and humidity when you're exercising outdoors. Exercise only if the conditions are suitable for the exercise you are doing.
· Warm up your muscles before you begin and have a cool down (mild exertion) at the end of the exercise period.
· Drink lots of fluids while exercising (preferably water or low calorie drinks if you are dieting).

STRENGTH TRAINING AND WEIGHT LOSS:
· Resistance training can improve muscular strength, power and fat-free body mass.
· However, including resistance training as part of a weight loss program has not been shown to be as effective as aerobic exercise for weight loss.
· Strength training can improve function which may help promote a more active lifestyle for those trying to lose weight.

The next time you begin to start a workout plan or routine be sure to incorporate a healthy diet plan to go along with that workout.  As always, speak to your doctor and/or Physical Therapist and take the proper exercise precautions.  Now that you have the knowledge and understanding to perform exercise properly, adding that to the proper diet will help contribute to optimal weight loss.  Not only will it help with losing weight, it will help maintain that weight loss to get you to a healthier and better you!