How Important Is Exercise for Weight Loss?

Let’s face it — there’s a weight problem in the United States, as two-thirds of our population is considered either overweight or obese. This means that a majority of Americans are at risk for a number of serious health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. 

If you fall into this category and you’ve resolved to lose weight, Dr. Madaiah Revana and our team here at Humble Cardiology are here to help. Since your cardiovascular health can be directly influenced by your weight, we offer weight-loss services to help you lose meaningful weight and keep it off.

While we can offer some helpful tools to accelerate your weight loss, such as FirstFitness Nutrition™ products, we want to underscore the importance of the literal steps you can take to help these efforts.

Achieving balance

Your body is designed to carry a certain amount of weight, and when it’s in this “sweet spot,” your body achieves homeostasis, or energy balance.

This balance is between the energy you take in through eating and drinking and the energy you expend through thermogenesis (producing heat), other bodily functions, and exercise.

When you upset this balance by taking in more energy than your body is able to use, it converts the extra energy into fat and stores it in your fat cells.

When you embark on weight loss, your goal is to burn the excess fat and get to a place where the energy you take in supports the energy you expend.

The two roads to weight loss

Now that we better understand the balance of energy your body needs to maintain a normal weight, let’s take a look at how you can get there.

The first step is to curb the amount of energy you take in, which means reducing the number of calories in your diet. 

This step alone is quite effective at preventing further weight gain, but it can also help you lose weight if you take in fewer calories than your body needs. When this happens, your body turns to its stores of fat for energy.

Imagine the effect of reducing the energy you take in and increasing your body’s demand for energy through exercise. Now you’ve really swung the balance in the opposite direction, where the demand outpaces the supply.

Types of exercise that support weight loss

At the risk of oversimplifying matters, there are two ways in which you can exercise: Aerobic activity and strength training. 

Aerobic exercise

Any activity that gets your heart rate up is considered aerobic exercise, which increases your body’s demand for energy (burning calories).

For weight loss, the CDC recommends that you engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. While this number may seem large, especially if you don’t exercise regularly, it really only comes down to a little more than 20 minutes a day. That could be just a mile-long walk around your neighborhood.

Strength training

Approaching weight loss from another angle, strength training creates more muscle mass, which increases your body’s need for energy, even when you’re sitting still. 

We recommend that you incorporate strength training into your weekly regimen — perhaps 30 minutes, two times a week.

While a gym offers specialized strength-training equipment, you can build muscle at home, using your own body weight. This article offers some great examples (including photos) of effective exercises you can do anytime, anywhere.

If you do your part at home through exercise, we do ours through our specialized weight-loss services. Together, we can help your body achieve the perfect balance for better health.

To get started, contact our friendly office staff in either Humble or Houston, Texas.

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