Physical activity is an essential element for weight loss, not only for losing pounds faster but it also prevents regaining all the lost weight and it also improves body composition.
Synergy between physical activity and a healthy diet
If a person is following a hypocaloric diet (eating fewer calories than needed to be able to reduce body weight) and not performing physical activity, the weight loss will be very slow and most likely; the body shape will become saggy.
On the other hand, if someone is exercising but doesn’t have a wholesome diet, their weight will vary slightly. They would be unable to reduce fat or promote muscle devolvement that comes with a balanced diet. For this reason, simultaneously combining both actions helps to achieve a synergistic effect; in other words, they boost each other’s potential.
Physical activity increases caloric expenditure
Physical activity is the most variable component related to caloric expenditure and is the most influential. This is since it is difficult to modify the basal metabolism and the dietary thermogenesis.
By increasing the frequency, length, intensity and varying the types of physical exercise between anaerobic and aerobics, it will be possible to boost caloric expenditure by physical activity for increased weight loss and avoiding following a strict diet that limits caloric intake. It is important to clarify that low-caloric diets are inclined to result in the dreaded rebound effect with weight gain.
Physical activity for modifying body composition
The only way to develop muscle mass and tone up the body is by means of physical activity. Anaerobic exercises (for an example, weight lifting) stimulate gaining muscle mass, which is caused from the muscle fibers bearing the load. These muscle fibers are destroyed during the workout and are later reconstructed during a rest and recovery period, this process increases the muscle size (hypertrophy).
Muscle mass doesn’t only enable people that exercise to show off their more defined and firm bodies, but the tissue is considered to be metabolically active, meaning it consumes energy. The more muscle that someone has, the higher caloric expenditure and the easier it is to reach the desired weight, after going through a period of weight loss.
Physical activity to burn abdominal fat
Aerobic physical activity (for example: walking, jogging, running on a treadmill, dancing) is ideal for significantly reducing abdominal fat and the waistline. Central adiposity is extremely dangerous to overall health. It is directly related to cardiovascular disease and complications associated with this disease, such as diabetes, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis.
Aerobic training enables burning the same amount of calories as anaerobic and moves stored fat cells, so they can be used as a source of energy.
Physical activity to manage anxiety and to treat depression
It is common that many people eat because of being “emotionally hungry”. It is not a real physical hunger but a needed release for their dysfunctional emotions (anxiety, anguish, grief, preoccupation) by consuming unhealthy food that are often high in sugar and fats.
Aerobic physical activity is able to control these emotions caused by depression and anxiety because it helps to alleviate these negative feelings by helping to clear the mind and to be a distraction from the emotional distress. In addition, practicing sports releases endorphins, which are substances that produce pleasure and reduce pain.
It is fundamental to have a wholesome diet along with regular, enjoyable physical activity. Ideally, aerobic exercises should be combined with anaerobic to encourage weight loss, overall body fat and at the same time, increasing muscle mass.