Most sedentary people are either overweight or obese; two-thirds of Americans fall into these two categories.
To lose weight, two things must happen. One, eat a healthy low-calorie diet; two exercise. But the exercises must be at a moderate level and a mix of cardio (to burn calories and reduce bodyfat) and strength building (to build muscle and keep an increased burn of calories in the future).
1) Cardio – Overweight people generally have bad knees so high-impact exercises like running, tennis, etc. are usually not good choices.
Instead focus on low impact sports like cycling, elliptical trainer and swimming. Set a goal of 150 minutes per week of cardio training at a moderate level; however when first starting out, do what you can until you are tired. Increase the number of minutes of activity each week as you grow stronger until at goal.
If you exercise five days per week, that is 30 minutes each day. This is the minimum amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Even three 10-minutes sessions per day count the same as one 30-minute session, so work it into your day the best way that fits your schedule.
2) Strength building – While cardio burns calories, strength building builds muscle.
Not only will it help prevent osteoporosis, but also help rebuild joint stability by strengthening the stabilizing supporting muscles.
Start out with two sessions per week targeting the larger muscle groups both in the upper and lower body, such as the shoulders, arms, abs, back and legs. By working the large muscle groups, you get more “bang for your buck” for the time you invest.
3) Interval training – Interval training is a workout on steroids.
Called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), it is something that must be worked up to do. The way it works is you do an exercise at an intensity that is as fast as you can manage for 30 seconds. Then lower the intensity down to moderate or less for twice that time … so for 1 minute. Then go as fast as you can again for 30 seconds.
Continue this exercise cycle for as you can.
Don’t be surprised if you are totally spent in less than 10 minutes. Try to work up to longer times both at the high and low intensity phases, keeping the same 1:2 ratio.
Interval training can be applied to both cardio and strength training workout routines and is one of the best ways to get the maximum calorie burn in the shortest amount of time.
By doing cardio and strength building at a normal intensity level, and working up to interval training as you get stronger, you can continue working off the weight and firming up muscles.