How much exercise do we need?
In most cases, less is best. I see many people running through the neighborhoods and I’m sure if I stopped one to ask why they were running, they would say to get in shape, and they may or may not say to lose weight. Running, jogging or any aerobic exercise is not a healthy practice. Of course these forms of exercise will burn more calories and the person loses weight. However, the weight loss from jogging or running can be up to 30 or 50% muscle loss. As you lose weight, you lose muscle. The more weight you lose the more muscle you lose. And if you don’t stay at your weight loss target and gain weight, you gain pure fat and do not replace muscle. The best form of exercise is weight bearing exercise. You can select a circuit system where you are exercising with weights or weight machines in a non-stop fashion. This will apply a weight force on the muscle and increase aerobics. My favorite exercise to achieve weight loss and muscle strength is using kettlebells.
There are two kettlebell exercises that are extremely effective, the kettlebell swing and kettlebell squat. Endurance exercise where one would jog or run for an hour has little value in promoting fitness. The best way to lose weight, gain energy and get fit is to adopt an exercise program that demands an intense form of exercise for a few minutes. You can exercise for six minutes a day for at least 3 or 4 times a week and it will be comparable to exercising an hour a day in other forms of aerobic exercise. I prepared a video demonstrating the kettlebell swing and the kettlebell squat for you to review on my website at www.TerryTalksNutrition.com. The kettlebell swing or squat should be done for 30 to 60 seconds and then 2 minutes of active rest. That cycle would take you approximately three minutes. Do five or six cycles which will take 15 to 18 minutes of time but just 5 to 6 minutes of intense exercise. You can use a kettlebell anywhere. No training sessions, no driving to and back from the gym, no expenses outside the cost of the kettlebell and you can do it anywhere – while watching TV, at the office, or outside on your deck.
Another exercise that you can employ with the swing and squat is the farmer’s carry. Walking 30 to 50 yards holding a kettlebell in one hand and return the same distance carrying the kettlebell in the other hand, otherwise known as the suitcase carry. Kettlebells can be found online or in major department stores from 10 pounds to 105 pounds. Most women will use about a 15 pound kettlebell and men approximately a 25 pound kettlebell. Use a weight that allows you to do the exercises properly. Usually as we get older the legs are the first muscle group to become weak. Elderly people have difficulty getting up out of a chair to stand. Select the kettlebell program and in two or three months you’ll marvel at the weight loss, muscle strength and sense of well-being.