Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What you need to know about exercising for weight loss

There is no better way to lose weight than to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise. Many overweight individuals, however, may be hesitant to exercise for fear of injury. While many forms of exercise, such as running, may be hard on the joints, it may not be dangerous to run if you’re overweight unless you have suffered a previous injury.

Dr. A Shabi Khan tells CNN Diet and Fitness Expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis, that it is safe for obese individuals to run or jog if they have no existing joint damage.

However, if you have experienced knee or joint damage in the past, it is important to find a low-impact form of exercise. Weight-bearing exercise, such as running may further injure previously damaged joints, and that risk may be increased for the obese.

Training on an elliptical is an ideal low-impact form of exercise. Weight-loss is determined by the frequency and intensity of your workout, as well as your caloric intake, there are many benefits of the elliptical for weight loss.

The elliptical machine offers a low-impact workout. The more weight you carry, the harder the impact of running on your bones and joins. Training on an elliptical reduces the impact, allowing longer-lasting, injury-free workouts. While an elliptical workout is a low-impact workout, it is still weight-bearing, meaning working out on an elliptical will still help build your body’s bone density.

(It is important that you first consult your physician before beginning any exercise routine.)

Elliptical machines also provide built-in training options, which can help you reach your goals and stay motivated. The Landice Executive Trainer Elliptimill comes with 5 built-in programs, as well as time, distance and calorie-burning programs. These programs will adjust resistance and incline based on the information input, such as the user’s weight and age.

To get the most out of your elliptical workout, remember these three factors:

Interval training — Incorporate short bursts of high-intensity exercise into your routine by increasing intensity of your workout for 1-3 minutes with a 1 minute rest in between. On the elliptical, aim to increase your RMP (reps per minute) for 1-3 minutes. You can monitor on the machine’s display. Another way to increase intensity is to increase the incline or resistance of the machine during the intervals.

Speed — Increasing speed during your workout (RPM on the elliptical) increases your heart rate, allowing you to reach a cardiovascular workout level and burn fat.

Intensity – While leisurely workouts can be relaxing, the reality is it is the intensity of your workout that increases calories and fat burned during that workout. Increase intensity by increasing incline, speed or resistance.

Some elliptical machines also have moving handles, which allow more of a full-body workout. To trim up your upper arms, be sure to utilize the arm handles during your workout.

The first key to weight loss is to get moving. Find an exercise you enjoy, and incorporate variety to keep stay motivated during your weight loss journey.

Fit Tips are provided by Exercise Houston, the leader in high-quality exercise equipment for homes in the Greater Houston Area. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit or follow us on Twitter at

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