Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Corporate Fitness: Exercise for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance by Anders N W Lindgreen

If you are interested in recommending a healthier lifestyle to your team or perhaps even a professionally tailored corporate fitness program, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of exercise and its importance. Not only for your own education, but to make more informed choice about providers, their philosophy and making sure that your crew get as much bang for your buck (or their) as possible.

Cardio vs. Resistance Training

The simple answer is, you need both. Cardio training burns more energy than resistance training does, but builds little muscle tone. Resistance training burns less energy while exercising, but it builds muscle tone, which increases the amount of energy you spend while resting or moving. It also increases your bone density (making your bones stronger!).

It Is About Intensity

Higher intensity exercise (intervals, sprints, resistance training with little rest etc) gives you an additional benefit to the above. Such activity creates a recovery surge in your system that elevates your energy expenditure for up to 36 h. Not bad!

A great way get started are paced hill/stairs walking (low impact) or finishing your gym routine in half the time (without sacrificing form). Your intensity will increase with steeper and longer hills/stairs as well as decreasing the recovery you have in between.

It Is About Progression

When doing any type of training, resistance training in particular, it is very important to challenge yourself to become stronger. The simple reason is that our bodies have no reason to adapt, whether it be muscle tone, weight loss or weight gain, if we don’t give them a good enough reason to. Strive to become a little stronger every session, to add more weights or more repetitions than your last session and try to finish your gym workout as quickly as possible.

If you find it hard to progress, ask a trainer to assess your technique and see if there are improvements to make. If you have used the same exercise for a long time your body might have simply adapted to it and it is then time to exchange it for something else.

It Is About Daily Activity

The easiest way to keep your weight under control is to buy a pedometer and make sure that you get at least 10.000 steps every day. All the steps you do during the day counts and depending on your line of work there very well may be need for a relaxing walk in the evening.

Always Listen to Your Body

With any exercise advise the most important thing is that you listen to your body. You can blast through your comfort zone, but never work through pain. If you have medical considerations, always consult physician first. It is very unlikely that they would advise you against physical activity, but they may give you a few key guidelines to follow.