Slow and Steady Is Much Better than Quick or Fast!

The best weight loss exercise will not create fast or quick results on your bathroom scale. In fact, your results will be slow and steady.

By far, the best weight loss exercise is the one that you enjoy and will continue to do. Another word for exercise is work. But, that's okay. Worthwhile experiences require us to do what others will not do. A few people enjoy it, but most don't.

What we do enjoy are the many benefits that come with a proper exercise program. Losing weight requires commitment and effort. No one can lose weight and keep it off unless they work at it.

"I Hate the Elliptical and I Can't Run!"

Exercise is beneficial at any age. And any exercise is better than none. So, if you don't enjoy running and hate the elliptical (as I do) - walk. I've had two minor knee surgeries and have been advised to avoid any impact on those knees. That means this former marathon runner has been reduced to a fast walker.

To maximize your effort you will need to reach a target heart rate. That is the heart rate that will give you the maximum benefit from your workout. As we age our target heart rate gets lower. Here is how you can calculate it for your age:

  • Start with the number 220.
  • Subtract your age.
  • Multiply that number by 75 or 80 percent.

Using 80 percent, a 30 year old person needs to get their heart rate up to 152 beats per minute. A 50 year old individual would need to attain a rate of 136 beats per minute. And those of us who have reached the wise old age of 70 will need to acquire a target heart rate of 120 to maximize our workout efforts.

If you are in "good shape" you can shoot for your target rate sooner than if you have lived a sedentary life.

"I Want the Health Benefits, But I Don't Want to Workout!"

As the Chinese laundry man would say, "No 'tichy' (ticket), No wash". There may be some "freebies" in this world, but this is not one of them. If you want to be thinner and have a longer, healthier life you will need to have a healthy diet and stay active.

Doctors agree that following health benefits are available with a proper diet and exercise:

  • Stronger heart muscle
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increase in HDLs (good cholesterol)
  • Decrease in LDLs (bad cholesterol)
  • Decrease risk of having a "stroke"
  • Prevention or control of Type II Diabetes
  • Less chance of obesity
  • Less back pain (fitness program, muscle strengthening, increase flexibility)
  • Less osteoporosis with weight-bearing exercise
  • Psychological benefits (ability to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression)

Obviously, the health benefits exceed this short list. The big question is: "If the benefits are so great, why doesn't everyone eat better and stay active?" We all know the answer. "Junk food" tastes good and exercise is a four letter word that starts with "W".

Will I Burn Calories While I Sleep If I Do Strength Training?

That is not true. I know food is everywhere - at the ball park, at fairs, even at the gas stations. To lose weight you can never lose sight of your goal - thinner, healthier, and live longer.

Any exercise that gets you breathing harder will do. Initially, it may be a walk. Then a faster walk. Start slow. Track your progress. You are likely to impress yourself with your improvement.

It is very important to realize that eating and exercise are intimately connected when it comes to weight loss. When I was learning to control my weight, I remember saying to myself, that 75 calorie cookie is going to require nearly a 3/4 mile run to burn off those calories. For me, it wasn't worth it.

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