Anyone who has decided that losing weight will provide a more healthy and satisfying lifestyle has made a potentially life-saving decision. The condition of being overweight is known to be related to four of the eight leading causes of death in the world: heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and diabetes. With all the other diseases that plague the human family, cancer chiefly among them, which is also in the top eight killers, it should be comforting to know that half of the leading causes of death could be defeated simply by losing weight.
It is well known that losing weight must include a significant change in diet. Sometimes, diet, alone, is successful in accomplishing the goal of weight loss, but this is usually achieved only when the amount of loss needed is less than 10 percent of a persons existing body weight. To lose more, the other half of the weight loss equation must be employed: exercise.
Exercise is key to losing a significant amount of weight. However, there is moving around, such as a gentle, low-impact walk around the block and there is effective, aerobic exercise. The gentle neighborhood walk is better than nothing all day and all life long, but if weight loss is a serious goal with serious consequences if it is not achieved. Aerobic exercise, at a minimum, is necessary.
Aerobic exercise is defined as body movement that is sufficient to cause the heart rate to increase in beats per minute sufficient to begin burning fat most efficiently. Depending on age, the aerobic threshold may be double the resting heart rate. This is why the mild walk around the block mat not suffice other than to maintain and provide warm up for more serious exercise.
Anyone who is seriously overweight, that is, who is 20 to 50 pounds or more over their rated healthy weight compared to height, should seek a physicians advice before beginning a serious weight loss regimen that includes aerobic exercise. For some people, that walk around the block may achieve aerobic status.
Aerobic exercise is more efficient because once the aerobic threshold is reached and maintained for twenty or thirty minutes per day, the metabolic rate is increased sufficiently to extend the efficient burning of fat several hours beyond the end of the exercise period. That is, even when sitting at rest, the body is burning more fat than it would had the aerobic exercise not been engaged.
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