Of all the activities that we are capable of doing during our waking hours, why is it that so many of us choose to do so few? Often, that choice is in part taken away from us because of the job we do or the lifestyle we lead which places us at a desk or behind the wheel of a vehicle for many long hours every day. This lack of physical activity actually makes us feel even more tired when we finish our jobs and by the time we get home, all we want to do is slump on the sofa in front of the TV until it's time to haul our weary carcasses to bed!
Does that sound like the lifestyle you are leading? Then you seriously need to do something to break that cycle if you want to maintain any semblance of good health and you may already have noticed your weight has crept up and your body is getting flabby and soft, while you feel weaker than you did in the past and less motivated to do anything about it.
What is happening here is that your muscles that your body needs to do strenuous work of activity are actually reducing in density and mass through inactivity or greatly reduced activity, while your store of fat is increasing. This increase of fat is what most people worry about when they decide its time to place themselves on a diet of some kind.
Unfortunately, that is not the answer to reversing the sedentary trend you are following which is leading you into eventual ill health. While a healthy diet is beneficial, it will not help you to lose a lot of weight unless you jump-start your body into action. You do this by exercising those depleted muscles and forcing them to build density and mass so they can help you to lose weight more efficiently and more healthily.
Here's how it works.
When you exercise sufficiently strenuously to cause a significant rise in your heart rate, increased sweating and harder breathing and maintain that level of exercise for long enough, generally thirty minutes or more, you will force your body to use some of its store of fat to provide energy for your muscles to continue working. Less than twenty minutes of hard exercise is not sufficient as all the energy your muscles require can be taken from the glucose levels already present in the bloodstream.
Gaining Muscle Mass
Additionally, while you are forcing your muscles to work hard, they are constantly in a state of work, where small areas of muscle tissue damage and repair take place. This is the process that causes your body to repair the muscles and cause them to increase in density and mass. The knock on effect of this is that as your muscles steadily gain mass, they require more energy to carry out the exercises you are forcing them to do.
This means they need to take that energy in greater quantities from your body fat stores once they have used up all the glucose in your bloodstream. This leads to a faster reduction in fat storage, while at the same time the strengthening muscles give the appearance of tightening up your body giving it that lithe, slender and fit overall look.
Incidentally, it is that look which many a would-be slimmer is aiming for in the first place with their chosen weight loss method! It is nonsensical then to attempt to achieve it through diet alone, as without the muscle fitness, it is difficult to achieve the same look and certainly you will not get a nice, tight and lithe looking body unless you tone up your muscles. And the only way to do that is through exercise!
So the type of exercise you choose is important to providing you with the slim, trim and fit body shape and look that you desire. There are several to choose from that will achieve this. Indoor exercise routines such as aerobic exercises, Pilates etc will fulfil these criteria, as do circuit training exercises in a gym.
Outdoor exercises such as running or jogging, playing team sports such as football, volleyball, tennis etc will also achieve this. Swimming is probably the most effective and enjoyable of all exercises to do as it is not so much routine as some exercises but more a fun experience coupled with the kind of exercise that engages the body's entire major muscle groups.
Whichever exercises you choose to do, remember that you need to do them for more than thirty minutes at a time and the longer you can maintain them, the better for you.