Strength Training, Aerobic Exercise, or No Exercise - Which Is Best for Weight Loss?

Must you exercise to lose weight?

As you have probably already discovered, there are countless diet programs out there. Every magazine facing you at the food checkout counter seems to feature an article on weight loss. A constant stream of new books on weight loss finds its way to book stores and library shelves. And of course, the Internet brings a vast array of weight loss resources right to your fingertips.

What do many of these have in common? They suggest some combination of diet changes and exercise routines.

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O.K., so you should exercise. Should you do aerobic exercise for weight loss? Or strength training for fat loss? What is the best weight loss routine?

Should you follow conventional wisdom and do aerobics as part of your weight loss program? Aerobics is good for the circulatory system and burns fat, according to this conventional wisdom.

Or should you try a weight loss program that purports to work without the inclusion of an exercise program? It's all in the food you eat, according to this argument. Eat only healthy nutritious foods based on your own unique metabolic type. The result -- your new diet will cause your body to burn fat and you will lose weight.

Or should you include strength training in your weight loss program? The strength straining approach is harshly critical of aerobics as a fat loss technique -- "the whole aerobics explosion of a few decades past was one of the biggest mistakes in the health and fitness industry." Here are reasons why you shouldn't rely on aerobics, according to the critics:--

While your body is burning fat during aerobics, it is also being conditioned to keep a certain amount of stored fat for your next aerobics workout. While aerobics trains your body (heart-lung-muscle) to become efficient within your existing aerobic limits, you are not actually improving your aerobic capacity which you need in times of stress.

Instead of aerobics, according to this approach, spend your workout time on high intensity strength training. The result:

Carbohydrates in your body will be burned during the workout, and over the next 24 hours your body's stored fat will be used to replenish the burned carbs. Your reserve capacity and your ability to handle stress will increase.

My recommendation: Get the best diet program

First of all, remember that if you eat more calories than you burn, you will not lose weight. Your first step should be to make sure you are eating healthy nutritious foods, eating less calories that you burn -- you don't need either cardio or strength training right away. A healthy diet should be your number one priority on your journey to weight loss success. As far a exercise is concerned, take daily walks and remain active.

Later, you can begin to add strength training to build up your muscles and gain strength.

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