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How should I exercise if I want to lose weight?

When you don't exercise, you don't burn extra calories. But skipped workouts hurt your weight loss efforts in another way: You're more likely to give in to temptation. Research reveals that physical activity boosts your brain's ability to resist tempting caloric fare. That's right, exercising not only helps you burn calories, it also makes it easier to say "no" to that chocolate cake.

Exercise of any form, resistance training or cardiovascular exercise, provides the means to expend energy, creating potential for a negative energy balance that will result in weight loss.  

A great way to exercise is to perform a circuit training program. Circuit training consists of several stations in which the client performs an exercise for a set amount of time or repetitions. Once time or repetitions have been achieved, then the client moves on to the next exercise in the station. Circuits can have as few as 3 exercises but can be as much as desired.  

Circuit style resistance training may be better suited for burning calories and thus losing fat. Recently, several studies have compared the effects of circuit resistance training to traditional cardio forms of exercise. It was shown that circuit training was just as beneficial as traditional cardiorespiratory exercise for improving and/or contributing to improved fitness levels. The following benefits of circuit training were stated:

  • Produced equal to or greater caloric expenditure for the same given time span as cardiorespiratory exercise
  • Produced greater levels of calories expended after exercise
  • Increased overall strength.

Based upon this information, it appears that circuit training is a viable means for producing caloric expenditure, increasing strength levels, and maintaining or increasing fat-free  mass while cutting down on the overall time of a complete workout.   

Continue Learning about Exercise For Weight Loss

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.