Exercise

Exercise is the key to increasing metabolism. If you workout at sufficient intensity and duration, the body burns more calories during the recovery period to re-synthesize muscle and glycogen stores. One study shows that metabolic rate is increased more than 15% for nearly 40 hrs after an intense workout! Another study showed why diet is bad for metabolism. The study showed that the metabolism of anorexic female athletes was actually dropped by 9% after an intense workout! You really need to eat to lose weight.

The key is gaining muscles. As I mentioned before, muscles are metabolically far more active than fat. Just having more muscles can make you lose body fat. There are, however, a few misconceptions about weight training, and many women avoid lifting weights. Let me try to demonstrate to you why gaining muscles via weight training is good for you.

A woman doing a bicep curl

The weight training is essential to speed up your metabolism.

Weight training does not make me lose weight…

To increase metabolism, you need to gain more muscles. However, quite often women avoid weight training and stick to cardio workout believing that resistance workout “does not burn fat.” It is WRONG! (READ MORE…)

Intensity

Another myth is that a low intensity workout is better for fat burning than high intensity workout. (READ MORE…)

Progression

Many people make mistakes in this department and that is why we hear the complaint that they don’t lose weight even if they are working out regularly. (READ MORE…)

How Should I Start — I Don’t Have Much Experience

Although there are many ways to start working out, here is one way to do it. First, join a gym. Although you can workout at home alone, you will get far more benefits by joining a gym. First of all if you spend money, it mentally binds you to use the gym. Second, there are many types of equipment to use. Third, gym staff will help you to do exercises correctly. Fourth, you can make workout friends who can encourage you to work out. If you cannot join a gym, at least get a workout buddy.

a mature woman doing abdominal curl with a machine

Joining a gym will give you many benefits.

Second, set a time three times a week, one hour each. If you don’t have that much time, secure at least two 30 minute sessions per week. If you can do the first option, set 25 minutes for weight training, 25 for cardio workout and 10 minutes for warm up and cool down. If you have time only twice a week, concentrate on weight training (though eventually you may want to add cardio workout.)

Once you are at the gym, spend 5 minutes to warm up using one of their cardio machines.

Choose one machine for each of the following parts of your body: legs, chest, back, arms (biceps and triceps), shoulders, and stomach. You should get help from gym staff to choose correct settings, usage, and weight. On each machine, repeat the movement 8 to 12 times. You need to do one set on each machine. If you can do more than 12 repetitions, you need to increase the weight. It should take about 25 minutes including 1 minute break between (walking from one machine to another.) You don’t need more than one set on each machine if you are doing everything correctly.

If you cannot spend more than 30 minutes on your workout, this is the end, but if you have time, you want to add cardio workout which will benefit your cardiovascular system, and burn more calories. The intensity should be low at the beginning so that you can stay on the machine for the entire period without taking a break, but you need to increase the intensity gradually so that you will use more calories per workout. Some recommend doing cardio session before the weight training session, but in the beginning, start with the weight training. You don’t want to get tired before your weight training session.

Again, you really need to increase intensity. During the first few weeks, you may see a dramatic increase in your strength, but this is because your muscles are now fully awake and working together. If you are not using the muscles, even if they have the capacity, the muscles will stay at the minimum level of strength to save the energy. Once you start weight training, all these muscles will gradually wake up, and in a few weeks, they will reach to their current maximum strength. After this period, you will see a slow down in the increase of the strength. This is actually the time you need to challenge yourself.

Once you can do this basic workout for 2 to 3 months, you graduate from the beginner’s level and start the next level. Remember, this is the lifestyle change process; you can do it slowly step by step, just don’t stop. Eventually you will get there.

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