The Beginners Guide to Resistance Training

Over many years, research into weight loss has proven that the argument for diet v exercise is redundant, as a combination of the two is now accepted in both the medical and fitness establishments as the optimum tactic.

Beyond this, a common misconception is that to achieve weight loss, exercise should purely focus on aerobics (cardiovascular) options such as walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. It is now clear that resistance training is a vital tool if realistic and substantial weight loss goals are to be achieved.

Calorie Burning

Weight loss (and indeed, weight gain) is the result of a simple daily equation:

Calories consumed – calories expended = ?

If the result is positive i.e. you've eaten more calories than you've burned, you will gain weight.

If the result is negative i.e. you've burned more calories than you've eaten, you will lose weight.

To assess the amount of calories you've burned in one day, you would have to add together the

2.1 Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – The energy your body uses just to stay alive i.e. to keep your organs functioning.

2.2 Feeding Thromogenesis – The energy needed to digest your food.

2.3 Thermogenic Activation – Energy used in little activities such as fidgeting and shivering.

2.4 Activity – Energy used in exercise
To deal with these in an ascending order of importance:

2.3 Sorry, you can't do much about this one.

Each time you eat, calories are burned to digest the food, so if you have 3-4 small
meals throughout the day, rather than 1-2 big ones, you will boost your calorie burn.

Slotting in short exercise sessions each day, even if just a brisk walk, will help you to achieve that negative calorie balance, so putting you on track to lose weight.

2.1 The good news is that exercise can temporarily boost metabolism, so that after exercise you continue to burn calories at a higher rate than normal. In addition, a study in the US in 1998 proved that whilst the overall effect of aerobics exercise was to slow the BMR by 2%, resistance training actually speeds it up by 6%. This means that by adding resistance training to your regime, it will lead to you burning more calories ... even when you're asleep!

Other Benefits of Resistance Training

3.1 Bone density Risk of Osteoporosis ↓
3.2 Good cholesterol Risk of Heart Disease ↓
3.3 Gastro intestinal transit speed Risk of colon cancer ↓
3.4 Affect on insulin resistance Risk of diabetes ↓
3.5 Immune System performance Risk of illness ↓
3.6 Correct Posture Risk of back pain ↓
3.7 Muscular endurance Risk of injury doing daily tasks ↓
3.8 Balance skills Risk of falls ↓

With all these on offer, then, you shouldn't need much more convincing that adding resistance training to your plan will lead to both weight loss and health benefits.

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