16 facts you need to know about fitness. Number 10 will surprise you
It takes at least 12 weeks of regular exercise to get into shape. While you’ll likely see some results like fat loss and muscle gain in as little as 6-8 weeks, most people won’t experience measurable changes in their fitness level until the 3 to 4 month mark. If you don’t see results right away, don’t get discouraged! Stick with it and the good changes will come.
A pound of muscle burns three times as many calories as a pound of fat. While it’s a myth that a pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day, the advantages of building muscle are still significant. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn even when you’re not exercising.
Switching up your workout will help you lose more weight. When you do the same workout day after day, your body adjusts and you’ll often hit a weight loss plateau. Doing a mix of exercises with different intensities is a better way to train, and also reduces the likelihood of injury from repeated stress.
Music really does help you work out better. Listening to music distracts your mind from your workout, improving both your mood and stamina. Fast-paced music can even improve your performance, encouraging you to run or pedal faster than you would otherwise.
You’re more likely to stick with your exercise plan if you work out with a partner. In a study conducted by the University of Aberdeen, people who had a “gym buddy” exercised more often than those who worked out alone. The encouragement and emotional support were the most important factors.
Working out can make you better in bed. People who work out tend to have higher self-esteem, and that makes them less self-conscious in the bedroom. It can also improve your stamina, give you more energy, and stimulate the release of sex hormones.
Dancing is an excellent form of exercise. The best workout is one you can motivate yourself to do regularly. For a lot of people, that’s easier with something like dancing. It also improves your cardiovascular health just as much as jogging or cycling.
Being dehydrated impairs your exercise performance. Water is very important to your body. It regulates your body temperature, blood volume, and muscle contractions. These are all very important to effective exercise. If you work out without hydrating, you’ll get tired faster and won’t see as many gains from your effort.
It only takes 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity to see cardiovascular benefits. That breaks down to less than 30 minutes a day—something everyone has time for. What activity counts as moderate? Anything that gets your heart beating, like a brisk walk or even heavy cleaning. A good rule of thumb is that you should still be able to talk, but not to sing.
People who don’t exercise regularly can lose 80% of their strength by age 65. Muscle loss due to aging is known as sarcopenia and naturally starts happening once you pass age 30. Without exercise, you’ll lose from 3%-5% of your muscle mass per decade.
Walking briskly burns nearly as many calories as jogging. You don’t have to go fast to see benefits. While running is still the best calorie-burner, burning more than 500 calories an hour, if you’re jogging slowly you’ll burn almost as many calories taking a brisk walk. If you’re concerned about high impact exercises and joint health, increasing the incline for your walk is a better choice than picking up the pace.
People who are single work out more than those who are married. In a study of more than 13,000 Americans, currently married men spent about half as much time exercising per week as those who were single. Married women also worked out less than their single counterparts, though not by as great a margin.
Only 10% of people succeed in losing weight through only dietary changes. If weight loss is your goal, combining an exercise regimen with a balanced diet is the best way to shed pounds—and keep them off. According to the National Weight Control Registry, 89% of people who combine diet and exercise successfully lost weight and maintained their new weight for a year, compared to 10% of people who used diet changes alone.
People who exercise regularly have higher vitamin D levels in their blood. This may not be caused by the exercise itself but instead be more of a correlation. Those who exercise regularly also tend to spend more time outdoors.
Staying active reduces your risk of many cancers. Working out helps maintain a healthy weight and regulate your hormones. Those who exercise regularly are at a lower risk for developing many types of cancer, including colorectal, uterine, and breast cancers.
You’re never too old to benefit from exercise. Some people think working out is just for the young, but the truth is it becomes even more important the older you get. About 75% of elderly Americans don’t get enough physical activity, and this contributes to a range of health problems associated with aging