Without exercise, it is difficult to maintain your weight, let alone lose weight if that is your plan. You will have to burn the corresponding amount of calories consumed in order to maintain or burn more in order to lose weight. Exercising is the answer to both. That is where strength training and metabolism comes into play.
However, not all exercise is equal. The kind of exercise you engage in, along with intensity and duration, can make a difference in the number of calories burned. This includes at the time you are exercising and well as a period of time after you stop exercising.
There are other factors that affect the number of calories burned that include age, gender, and genetics. All of which you really can’t do anything about. Therefore, it is important to focus on the one thing that you can control and that is exercising.
Various exercises such as aerobic exercise, which includes cardio and endurance, are activities normally done at a more moderate pace, but over a lengthier period of time.
These activities burn calories but normally focuses on only burning stored fat. Included in this category are walking, running, Zumba and Pilates.
These activities burn calories, but they are calories that the body doesn’t need to replace. This means that the speed at which your body is burning calories drops once the aerobic activities stop.
However, when you engage in anaerobic-type activities you are burning glucose, calories that live deep within your muscles. These are strength training activities that are done at a faster pace, but for a shorter duration.
The type of exercise that is anaerobic includes activities such as medicine ball throws, kettlebell swings, resistance training, and heavy weightlifting.
The value of strength training and metabolism is you not only get a high-calorie burn while exercising, but the burn continues afterward. In fact, your metabolism keeps working at a high rate until it has restored the glucose that was drained from your muscles.
The secondary effect of strength training can increase the size of your muscles. This is about toning, firming and a small increase in the size of the muscles.
Women are often afraid to get into strength training because they think they will produce too much muscle. This is really not a problem since the hormone structure of women doesn’t allow this to happen.
With a more defined muscle structure, the metabolism works at a higher rate even while at rest or sleeping. When you have more muscle, you have more glucose in them. As a result, your metabolism works harder to keep up on the glucose that has been used.
If there is a downside to strength training, it is that you can’t do it six days a week. The reason is that your body would never be able to keep up.
A particularly good compromise is to engage in cardio activity for four days of the week and then include a couple of days doing strength training exercises.
You will want to make sure you have a day or two in between your two days of strength training in order to recover.
When engaging in strength training, you should focus on one or two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions in each set. As well you need to include each of the major muscle groups. This includes abs, glutes, quads, and biceps.
With strength training exercises you will get the most calorie-burning increase, along with providing you a more defined body. And who doesn’t want that?