Posts Tagged ‘benefits of exercise’

How many days per week should you exercise if you are trying to lose weight?

August 3, 2009

How Many Days Per Week Should You Exercise If You Are Trying To Lose Weight?

This depends on the type of condition you are starting out in. Young people who are in great condition have very quick recovery times. They can quickly ease into exercising 5 or 6 days per week.

People who are older and have not exercised for a long time are going to need a lot of recovery time, and will need to start exercising gradually.

When someone who is older and hasn’t exercised for a long time begins exercising, they may need 2 or 3 days to recover from exercising before they can exercise again.  The more someone exercises, however, the shorter their recovery time becomes and what they are capable of doing increases quickly.

I am 46 years old now. Three years ago, I was completely out of shape and carrying around and extra 35 pounds. When I started exercising again, I walked for about an hour, 3 days per week, during the middle of my walk, I jogged and counted every time I stepped on my right foot. In the beginning, I only jogged 200 steps. I did this for a couple of weeks. Next, I was stepping on my right foot 300 steps, each time I jogged, about 3 times per week. About 6 weeks after I began jogging, I was stepping on my right foot about 600 times when I jogged. I kept increasing how much exercise I was doing, but, listened to my body. I was always trying to make sure I didn’t get injured.  Any time I had sore muscles, I either just walked, rode a bicycle, exercised other muscles, or skipped exercising that day.

Any time, my muscles were no longer sore, I began exercising again.  This morning, I jogged 5.73 miles on a treadmill in an hour.  In a lot of ways, I feel like I am young again.

Exercise not only burns calories while you are exercising; if you exercise enough, or intensely enough, your body will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after you have stopped exercising.  The process of overworking your muscles, then allowing your body to rebuild your muscles, burns calories.

Some people are discouraged by exercising soon after they start an exercise program because of the sore muscles, time and effort it takes and perhaps the numbers on the scale don’t decrease for them right away.  When the proper amount and frequency of exercise is accompanied with a proper diet, the bodies muscle to fat ratio improves quickly.  Muscle does weigh more than fat.  Both men and women should strive to maintain or accumulate muscle.  Increasing your muscle mass increases your metablolism.

Even though lots of weight loss ads try to convince people that they can become lean or in fantastic physical condition in a short period of time. The real truth is that fantastic results are realized when someone keeps working on their fitness goal over a long period of time.

Whatever condition you are starting-out in, you should gradually try to increase the amount of exercise you are doing as your body tells you it is ready to handle more.

Body builders who are trying to gain muscle and size tend to do strength training 3 to 4 days per week, then give their body plenty of time to recover.  Without enough recovery time, their muscles will get used as a source of energy instead of built-up.

Distance runners tend to train anywhere from 5 days per week to twice a day, 6 days per week. They have a tendency to become extremely lean, because that much exercise not only burns, fat, it also burns muscle.

Both bodybuilders and distance runners become extremely lean, however, the distance runner is usually not muscular and may be likely to endure injuries because they don’t always allow their muscles enough time to recover and they constantly use-up the nutrient stores within their bodies.

Having a high ratio of muscle creates a fat burning furnace.  Increasing or maintaining your muscle mass is an excellent tool for losing weight. One pound of muscle burns approximately 35 calories per day. One pound of fat burns approximately 2 calories per day.

Written by: Dawn Perucca