Exercise for weight loss - Do I have to.

Exercise - we love it and hate it. Taking the initial steps to get outside and exercise is the hardest part of starting a healthy physical regime. When I discuss exercise and physical activity with patients I generally get the same response: "Do I have to?".

If it has been awhile since you've done any exercise, then undoubtedly getting back into it is going to hurt. You're going to puff, sweat and your body will feel exhausted when it's all over. So what are the benefits of exercise, and is it really necessary?

Evidence suggests that if your goal is to lose weight then your main focus first and foremost has to be what enters your mouth. No matter how much exercise you do, in order to build a strong, healthy - and ultimately slim - body nutrition is key.

However, don't write exercise off. Although you can lose weight without exercising and perhaps even the same amount of weight by simply looking at your food intake, exercise still has it benefits when you are trying to kick the kilos. 

When you pair exercise with energy restriction in your weight loss journey you maintain a higher lean body mass. Lean body mass is the amount of weight you carry on your body that isn't fat. This essentially means that when you restrict your calorie intake without exercise you lose fat, but you also lose muscle. However, when calorie restriction is paired with regular exercise you lose fat but don't lose your muscle. Having more lean muscle mass increases your metabolism and maintains muscle tone - which may help you keep weight off for longer and get your body looking tight and toned.

It doesn't have to be running a marathon either, just 20 minutes of 'huffing and puffing' five times a week will have a significant impact on your body. If exercise is not your thing, give it some time and start slowly - just a 20 minute walk is better than nothing. Build toward better and don't compare yourself to others.

There are loads of ways to get active, follow the link below to start now. Don't forget to hydrate. Thanks for reading.