Myth #1: Cardio is the Only Way to Lose Weight

By: Megan Lambert & Matt Nichelson

Which of the following pictures depict the best form of exercise for weight loss?

    

If you chose the dumbbells in the picture on the far right, then you are correct!

It is a common misconception that long-duration, steady-state cardiovascular exercise, such as riding an exercise bike, using an elliptical, or running on a treadmill for an extended amount of time, is the only way to decrease body fat and lose weight.

First, it is important to mention that this form of exercise is beneficial and should not be taken completely out of an exercise program. In fact, HIIT exercise training and interval training are very valuable forms of exercise. However, hours of cardio and nothing else is not the most effective way to reach your weight loss goal.

So, how much do you need to exercise to lose weight?

The American College of Sports Medicine is a nationally recognized leader in the fitness industry. Otherwise known as ACSM, this organization gives the following guidelines regarding exercise with the goal of weight loss:

ACSM recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent significant weight gain and reduce associated chronic disease risk factors. For most adults, this amount of physical activity can be easily achieved in 30 minutes/day, five days a week. Overweight and obese individuals will most likely experience greater weight reduction and prevent weight regain with 250+ minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity. ACSM also recommends strength training as part of this health and fitness regimen, in order to increase fat-free mass and further reduce health risks.

How does strength training help you lose body fat?

In addition to improving your body composition, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) also describes how resistance training contributes to fat loss.

In a NASM article entitled “Resistance Training Tips,” author Fabio Comana says that resistance training contributes to, “the preservation of, or an increase in muscle mass and bone density, and an elevated metabolic rate that effectively helps us burn more calories and lose unwanted body fat.”

To achieve your 2017 fitness goals, call Indy Core Wellness & Fitness at (317) 430-0063.

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