Q:I'm dieting to lose weight, but what types of exercise should I do to accompany my diet?
Luci Gabel, MA, MBA, ACSM (Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist) answered (2/14/2013)
It's great that you're asking about exercise that will accompany your diet - they're both equally important to reach your goals!
There are three parts to a good exercise program: cardiovascular, strength and flexibility. The question is - have you been exercising in the past, or are you just starting out? If you're just starting out you'll want to ramp it up slow. If you've been exercising you'll want to increase your intensity.
If you're just starting out, doing 15-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 times per week is a good entry level way to burn calories. This is when you move your body in a way that gets you to breathe a little deeper and faster. It's continuous movement that you can sustain for more than 10 minutes. Like walking, jogging, biking, skating, etc.
CV exercise will get your aerobic metabolism going and it'll stay elevated for a little while afterwards.
Tag onto that some strength training. A total body strength program done 2x per week works well and is all you really need long term. It can be as quick as a 20 minute workout if you target the 9 major muscle groups. You can see my example of these exercises here. http://www.lucigabel.com/media_fitness_videos.html
Strength training increases metabolism in the long run. It also improves insulin sensitivity.
Each video above starts with the basics, and works up to strength exercises that activate multiple muscle groups which are high intensity and will burn more calories. You want to be able to do the basics well before you move to the advanced versions so your body is ready for the challenge.
Finally, stretching is imperative to keep your joints healthy so you can workout with ease and comfort. A couple minutes of stretching after your workout is the most efficient. If you can do a little yoga stretching in the middle or end of your day you'll be even better off in general. Here's a link to the a yoga vinyasa that will get you stretched out and burn some calories too:
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How to Start Exercising to Lose Weight