Most people think the only weight loss benefit of exercise is to use up more stored body fat calories. Actually, exercise induces many beneficial changes at the cellular level that contribute to better weight control.
Take, for instance, your total lean muscle mass. Not staying active usually takes a toll on your muscle tissue. This results in a lower rate of metabolism and eventually weight gain. Exercise is the best way to restore a youthful amount of muscle.
Additionally, your resting metabolic rate can increase with exercise. This is the number of calories you burn at rest, keeping the major organ systems fueled with energy. If exercise can raise your resting metabolism, this could mean burning more calories at rest!
Take the quiz and see if muscle loss from low physical activity is one of your weight gaining mechanisms.
|Questions to Determine Your Level of Physical Activity||YES||NO|
|Is it a rare moment for you to walk, jog or swim?|
|Has it been several months or years since you last lifted weights?|
|Are you losing muscle mass in your arms, chest, and mid-section?|
|Is it difficult for you to stretch and touch your toes? Are you gaining fat around your midline, chin area or under your arms?|
|IF YOU ANSWERED WITH …||THEN TRY …|
|0 Yes ? Active lifestyle||Keep up the good work!|
|1?2 Yes ? Somewhat active||Lifestyle suggestions|
|3 Yes ? Active on occasion||Whey or pea protein supplement*|
|4 Yes ? Rarely active||Whey or pea protein supplement + Branched chained amino acids*|
|5 Yes ? Not active||Whey or pea protein supplement + Branched chained amino acids* + DHEA**|
- Your goal should be to exercise at least 3 times per week, aerobically and with weights.
- Use resistance bands at work or around the house to tone major muscle groups.
- Walk 10,000 steps every day.
*The appendix provides descriptions and average doses of each nutrient.
**Don?t start taking hormones like DHEA without having blood work completed and your doctor?s approval.