Coming into the festive season, addressing the topic of controlling body weight (body fat) is relevant. We need to understand that excess body weight due to body fat, increases the risk of chronic disease and premature death. It is important to remain vigilant during the holiday period to ensure you do not lose the gains you have made in 2015.
Weight Management strategies: Aerobic type activities such as walking, cycling, swimming and group fitness classes are traditionally the recommended way to exercise to manage body weight. This type of training demands high caloric expenditure during the exercise bout and has significant positive effects on weight management. These activities are easily achieved during holidays even if you do not have access to a gym or structured classes.
Resistance exercise, does it play a role? Studies suggest that resistance training can play a significant role in your long-term weight management program (Sword, S&C Journal, 2012). Resistance exercise such as bodyweight exercises, machine and/or free weights contribute to increases in strength and muscle mass. This also leads to positive changes in body composition, muscular endurance, bone density, cardiac risk factors, feelings of wellbeing and increased metabolism.
Recommendations: Aerobic type training is a critical component to any weight loss or weight management protocol and should be included in your program. Resistance training also has significant benefits to your overall health status as mentioned previously. Programs that include both aerobic and resistance exercise can capture the obvious benefits of both types of training and could be considered superior in terms of producing an overall healthier body.
Conclusion: A strategy that utilises aerobic activity, resistance exercise and reduced caloric intake may be the optimal protocol for weight loss and long term weight management. This is something to keep in mind during the festive season and understanding that you can comply with the above strategies without needing to attend a gym during your break.