We all know that achieving weight loss isn’t just about our diet. Achieving and maintaining a desirable weight is as much a matter of exercise and activity as it is a matter of controlling calories. To get the best results we have to combine our efforts of healthy portion controlled meals with exercise, and what better way of doing this than hiring a personal trainer to motivate and push you to your limit with your own tailored fitness programme to suit you?
Pilates – Photograph by familymwr
Regular exercise will certainly give you the edge. There are a number of ways that exercise can aid weight loss management goals:
- Burning calories
- Increases your metabolism – a 20-30 minute workout will raise your resting metabolic rate for some period after you have stopped exercising, so you will be expending more calories per hour as a result of your exercise programme
- Muscle toning – gaining muscle through resistance training is crucial to weight loss and management. This is because muscle tissue requires more energy to function than fat does, even while we rest
Weight loss isn’t the only reason to exercise. Done regularly, exercise also helps develop endurance, increase agility, improve posture, relieve tension and reduce high blood pressure. And it doesn’t take a lot of regular exercise to make a difference, too.
Working out – Photograph by Kenny Holston
Personal trainers can inspire, motivate and push you a lot further than running on a treadmill at the gym will. Most importantly, they can design a fitness plan for your specific needs and aims. You will most probably find that you can achieve fitness goals you never previously thought you could! The Pure Package has joined forces with a number of London personal trainers and gyms (who all have personal trainers) that we recommend trying out for this very reason.
- It elevates your stress threshold: exercise helps in the fight against the stress hormone cortisol, a product of chronic stress that can lead to depression and dementia. Exercise makes proteins that fix the damage and delay the process.
- It lifts your mood: in a landmark study in this area by researchers at Duke University (known as the SMILE study), exercise was compared against the anti-depressant Zoloft and was found to be at least as effective as medication in helping people with mild depression.
- It improves “executive functioning”: this is the area of the brain concerned with planning, organising, and multi-tasking. The reasons for this are complex but include improved blood flow to the brain, and hence oxygen, fuel and nutrients. Exercise also increases levels of a substance called BDNF which encourages growth and communication between the cells of the brain. Combining exercise with music can increase these benefits even more; researchers combined exercising with listening to Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ and found improvements in verbal skills and mood tests greater than when exercising to the sound of silence.
- Exercise improves sleep quality: often a symptom of stress and anxiety (see 1 & 2) and common in post-menopausal women, research suggests morning exercise may be the most beneficial time for this population group to exercise. This may be to do with our circadian rhythms.
- It boosts the immune system: aging and stress can harm our immune response. Moderate activity dials up the body’s production of ‘T’ cells, attacking bacteria, viruses and even helping reduce the risk of certain cancers. Physically active people have a 50% lower risk of developing colon cancer and active women have an 18% reduced risk of breast cancer (even those with a family history of the disease).
So, what are you waiting for? With the summer approaching, now is the perfect time to get training – find a personal trainer or join a morning/afternoon fitness group. Whatever your fancy, (check out our alternative fitness blog post for some alternative forms of exercise) just get out there! And remember: joining a group or team of fellow exercisers has additional benefits too, and the action of making a plan or appointment with others is a powerful motivational tool.
Have you had any experience of using a personal trainer? What are some of your top exercising tips? Leave us a comment and let us know.