Without Weights

by Greg Landry, M.S.

Weight training is very important if your goal is to lose weight and maintain that loss. However, I realize that there are many people, who for a variety of reasons, can't or won't weight train.

If you're one of those people, I have several recommendations for your aerobic exercise sessions. Since you don't weight train, it's important that you use some aerobic exercises that involve most of the body's major muscle groups. These won't tone your individual muscles as well as weight training will, but they will give you overall toning, aerobic conditioning, caloric expenditure, and a boost in your metabolism.

I have four specific recommendations that I've seen work well for people;

  1. Rowing uses most of your major muscle groups and is an exercise that most people enjoy doing. As with any exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts - especially if you have a history of back problems. There are several good rowers on the market, but my favorite is the Concept II Rower . It's very well designed and very smooth to use because it uses air resistance. The harder you pull, the more resistance you get.

  2. Stationary cycling with a cycle that also allows you to use your upper body muscles to push / pull handles. An example of this is the Schwinn Airdyne Cycle http://www.schwinnbikes.com/ , but there are several others available that also use air resistance.

  3. Do your walking exercise using small (one to three pound hand weights). Keep in mind that this is not as effective as weight training and may slightly decrease the aerobic conditioning effect of your walking. However, if you move your arms in a variety of directions while walking, this is a good overall toning and aerobic conditioning exercise.

  4. Swimming, or a variety of movements in the water. Water provides a great, low impact environment for exercise. If you have access to a pool, this is another good option for aerobic conditioning and overall toning.

So, if you're not a weight trainer, or perhaps you're taking a break from weight training, these are great exercises to help you incorporate overall muscle toning exercises into your aerobic workouts. Get movin'!

Author and exercise physiologist, Greg Landry, M.S., publishes a FREE email newsletter, "Fitness, Health, & Weight Loss". To start your free subscription, send any email message, mailto:Fitness-on@mail-list.com or visit http://www.Landry.com. For more information on weight training, email Top18@Landry.com

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