Physical exercise helps you lose weight by burning calories. It also builds muscles which increases your metabolic rate and helps your body burn more calories when you are resting.
Regardless of whether you are exercising to lose weight or to maintain your ideal weight, always start your sessions with a 5 to 10 minute warm up to loosen the muscles and prevent injuries.
You can warm up with simple stretches like rotating your waist, raising your hands over your head and bending your leg at the knee to gently raise the temperatures of your muscles. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds while breathing through your nose.
These stretches can be followed by a session of aerobic exercises to boost the number of calories you burn. To do this you can swim, jog or skip a rope for at least 10 minutes.
Rope jumping is a great option since it can be done outdoors and indoors with just a simple rope. It is also an effective weight loss exercise since a 10 minute session can burn more than 100 calories.
Strength Training Exercises
The cardiovascular session can be following by strength training exercises like the following. These exercises help your body burn even more calories since they involve many muscle groups:
The Step-up Bicep Curl
The step-up bicep curl works the biceps (muscles on front of arm), hamstrings (muscles on back of thighs), quadriceps (muscles on front of thighs), gluteus (butt) and abdominal (abs) muscles. To this exercise:
1. Stand with your right foot on a sturdy step holding a 5 to 10 pound weight in each hand.
2. Raise your left leg so that you are standing on the step. At the same time raise the weights above your head.
3. Return to the starting position as you lower the weights.
Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
Push-ups work the chest, shoulder, triceps (muscles on back of arm), abdominals, lower back and gluteal muscles. To this exercise:
1. Lie with your tummy on the floor and place your hands just in front of your shoulders.
2. Slowly raise your chest and abdomen by supporting them with your hands and toes. Ensure that your body forms a straight line from your head to the heels.
3. Keeping your back straight, lower your body to within 2 inches from the floor by bending your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
4. Slowly raise your body once again by straightening your elbows.
Aim for 5 sets of 10 push-ups each as you keep the correct form since a set of 50 can burn almost 100 calories. If you are beginner, do the modified push-ups by raising your trunk while supporting it with your hands and knees.
The Weighted Lunge
The lunge works the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus, calf and back muscles. To this exercise:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms at your side holding a 5 to 10 pound weight in each hand.
2. Step forward with one leg and lower your hips until both knees are almost bent to 90 degree angles.
Hold the position for several seconds while ensuring that your upper body is straight and your front knee is directly above its ankle.
3. Push through your heel to to return to your starting position.
Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
Finish your weight loss exercise sessions with 5 to 10 minutes of cool down stretches like those you did in the warm up session.
Do this sequences of stretching, aerobic and strength training exercises at least 3 times a week while ensuring that you have a rest day between your exercise days.
To avoid getting bored, mix these exercises with other activities that target different muscle groups. This mixing of different exercises, which is known as cross training, also reduces the likelihood of injuries since it avoids similar wear patterns in your body.
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