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Is The Scale The Best Tool To Use When Measuring Progress?

Aug 17, 2007
Personal Trainers as well as other health and fitness professionals are asked this question all the time by people anxious to shed pounds and become more physically fit.

Losing weight is great, but that will not ensure greater health and fitness levels. Many times while working in gym I see men and women who are obsessed with the numbers on the scale when they weigh themselves. Many of the people understand the concept of how an increase in lean muscle mass will cause and individual to gain weight, but all they see are the numbers on the scale. The truth is that when mixing resistance training and cardiovascular training, individuals may lose body fat but put on pounds of weight. The result sometimes can lead to a minimal loss in weight, the same weight, or even an increase in weight.

Although many men and women know this, they still struggle with the idea of weight. According to the scale, they are still small, or still fat. Having a desired weight in mind is a good idea, but it should not be your only resource to measure progress, because having an increase in may skew the realistic interpretation of the numbers on the scale, and your progress. Measurements are also an option. Seeing a tailor or having your measurements taken are a concrete measure of increases and decrease in size, and where they occur.

Many people believe the common misconception that in order to lose weight, all they need to do, is first start a cardio plan, and then do more and more. This is false. Depending on the amount and intensity of cardio, you may accomplish your goal, or become counter productive and burn protein while during your cardio. Burning muscle is a result of not keeping your heart rate in its Target Heart Rate range.

When cardio is done effectively and efficiently it is possible to put on weight and become leaner. It is also possible to burn fat and keep your muscle. Doing the exact opposite can potentially decrease your size, but with a greater body fat percentage. A higher body fat means and increased risk, of more health complication of which diabetes and cardiovascular disease are just a few. Losing weight only means that you have less mass. Losing weight doesn't tell you if the mass you have lost leaves you healthier.

The end result, is that having a target weight in mind is a good idea, but not the only good idea. Have an activity that you would like to do. Pick out a dress size that you have wanted to wear, or even create a physiological goal like being able to run 3 flights of stairs faster, and without losing your breath. Becoming healthier is always more important than looking good, so remember that as you start you fitness plan.
About the Author
Vacationbodies.com, an online resources for helping readers creates a health conscious lifestyle, and reach fitness goals. We want to be you personal trainer here at Vacation Bodies
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