The Benefits of Exercising for Weight Loss
It’s no secret that exercising is good for you. It improves your cardiovascular health, helps to prevent diseases, and can even improve your mental health. But did you know that exercising can also help you to lose weight? Read on to learn more about the benefits of exercising for weight loss.
Exercise Helps to Burn Calories
One of the main ways that exercise helps with weight loss is by burning calories. When you exercise, your body burns calories as fuel.
The more strenuous the exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. For example, a 155-pound person will burn approximately 240 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as walking at a moderate pace.
But that same person will burn approximately twice as many calories—490 calories—in 30 minutes of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as running at a 6-mile-per-hour pace.
In addition to directly burning calories, exercise also helps to boost your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body burns calories.
A higher metabolism means that you’ll continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished exercising. In fact, one study found that people who did aerobic exercise for 30 minutes five times per week for six weeks had a higher resting metabolic rate—meaning they burned more calories even when they were at rest—than those who didn’t exercise.
Exercise Can Help You to Reduce Fat Mass and Increase Muscle Mass
Another way that exercise can help with weight loss is by reducing fat mass and increasing muscle mass.
As you lose weight, you will lose both fat and muscle mass. However, if you only focus on dieting to lose weight, you will lose a greater proportion of muscle mass than if you focus on both diet and exercise.
This is because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning it takes more energy (i.e., calories) to maintain muscle mass than it does to maintain fat mass.
So, when you diet without exercising, your body breaks down muscle tissue in order to meet its energy needs, resulting in greater muscle loss.
Exercising has many benefits—it can improve your mental health, help prevent diseases, and even help you to lose weight. If you’re looking to lose weight, aim to exercise for 30 minutes five times per week. Remember to focus on both cardiovascular exercises (which will help to directly burn calories) and strength-training exercises (which will help to reduce fat mass and increase muscle mass).