Besides increasing your BMR, exercise helps ensure that your body breaks down fat instead of muscle as you lose weight. When the amount of food you take doesn’t provide enough energy to pay the bills, your body dips into its own energy stores. It will tend to break down fat first because that’s where it stores the extra energy it needs for hard times (which, in our modern world, rarely come). But it can also take apart some muscle tissue in order to get the calories that it needs to keep going. This will not be a major problem if you follow the program, but you want to avoid making it even a minor problem by preserving as much muscle tissue as you can. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your BMR and the more likely you are to be fit. The only way to preserve muscle tissue is to exercise to at least a reasonable degree. The reason you don’t need much exercise to preserve your muscle mass is that whatever mass you now
have, be it that of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime or a typical couch potato, you have achieved it as the result of the exercise you now do. If you increase that level—even if the increase only goes from almost none to very little—you will increase your muscle mass to some extent. Having said that, however, now let me emphasize that within reasonable limits (ah, there’s that phrase again!) more exercise is always better than less.

So, let’s take a look at some of the wonderful things that exercise can do for you and your body.

1. Increase the basal metabolic rate, allowing you to burn calories faster.

2. Preserve and build muscle tissue, preventing it from being depleted by the body for use as energy.

3. Lower body fat stores.

4. Develop and increase physical strength.

5. Contribute to a faster, steadier, more permanent weight

6. Strengthen your heart and circulation.

7. Increase your energy and endurance.

8. Improve your sleep.

9. Improve your sex drive.

10. Improve your appearance.

11. Help regulate your bodily functions, such as digestion and elimination.

12. Reduce stress.

13. Slow the onset of some of the signs and symptoms of

14. Make all physical tasks easier to accomplish.

15. Contribute to a positive mental outlook and an improved sense of well-being.

16. Help control high blood pressure.

17. Help control blood cholesterol.

18. Help control diabetes.

19. Help prevent osteoporosis.

20. Help ease the pain of osteoarthritis.

21. Lower blood fats.

22. Increase levels of growth hormone, which in turn can help tone your muscles and help you look and feel more youthful.

The good news is that you can get all of these benefits without putting yourself on a terribly rigorous training schedule or spending 3 hours a day at the gym. All you really need to do is exercise moderately for 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week. You will get a benefit if you do less exercise than that—as long as it’s more than you did before. But you will get the full impact if you achieve that minimum. That’s a pretty small investment for such a large return.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 3:59 am and is filed under Weight Loss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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