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Healthy Weight Loss Program: Your Personal Exercise Prescription

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Author: Malton A. Schexneider, PT, MMSc

A fat burning exercise prescription is a MUST for the long term success of any healthy weight loss program. Guidelines for healthy weight loss related to exercise and physical activity have been steadily improving over the last 20 years.

Along with the 1996 Surgeon General's recommendations, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association have all issued statements on the importance of regular physical exercise in a healthy weight loss program.

The diet industry also endorses exercise as a beneficial component in any healthy weight loss plan.

In fact, look at the disclaimers of any fad diet, special weight loss pill, or fat reducing fruit nectar and you'll see where, in addition to the "unbelievable benefits" of their product, the practice of proper nutrition and consistent aerobic exercise are highly recommended to achieve optimal healthy weight loss results.

In other words, these companies are telling you that eating right and the incorporation of moderate aerobic exercise have more to do with the overall outcome of the healthy weight loss plan than does their "miracle pill".


1. Determine your age adjusted maximum heart rate (220 - your age = maximum heart rate)

2. Determine your optimum fat burning exercise heart rate range (maximum heart rate x .6 = minimum heart rate; maximum exercise heart rate x .75 = maximum exercise heart rate

3. Exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times per week, keeping your heart rat between 60% and 75% of your age adjusted maximum heart rate.

4. Perform the flexibility exercises listed below 2 - 3 times per week.

Exercise Prescription

Exercise, by definition, means purposeful movement. Although many kinds of exercise exist, certain exercises may not be necessarily therapeutic for you. Remember, an exercise prescription is just that; it's a prescription. Very little benefit will be obtained with nonspecific, over the counter exercise programs. Your understanding of the purpose, principles, and adherence to each prescribed exercise technique will be essential to the development of a positive outcome.

The purposes of an exercise prescription are to:

1. Increase muscular flexibility
2. Normalize and balance muscle tone by increasing oxygen rich blood flow to the tissue
3. Integrate muscle activity
4. Restoration of functional movement
5. Restoration of functional muscle strength and endurance

The exercise principles listed below serve as a guideline for proper application. Study the principles carefully in order to maximize the effectiveness of your exercise program.

Exercises designed to improve flexibility should be performed several times per day. Each exercise should be held for 30-60 seconds to allow the tissue to elongate.

Exercise prescribed to improve strength, mobility, and endurance should be performed at a pace that would enable you to complete the prescribed number of repetitions in one minute. If multiple sets are prescribed for each exercise session, a 90 second rest interval should follow each set.

Never hold your breath during exercise. Your therapist will instruct you in the proper breathing technique that will facilitate a better exercise outcome.

You may experience a slight ache or discomfort following your first or second exercise session. This is a normal reaction referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and should go away in a day or so. This type of muscle soreness is not a cause for stopping your exercise program.

If the exercise reproduces a specific pain or makes an already existing pain become more widespread, stop the exercise and inform your physician immediately.

Allow yourself enough time to complete the exercise as prescribed. Exercise sessions that are rushed through with little attention paid to technique will be ineffective and will prolong your symptoms. If time becomes an issue, perform a few repetitions several times throughout the day.

Don't be in a hurry to advance to more strenuous exercise. Remember that tissue adaptation to new forms of stress takes time. In some cases it took years for your condition to develop. It is unrealistic to expect that the condition will be resolved after just a few exercise sessions. Compliance with your prescribed program and patience will result in the desired outcome.

In combination with a healthy diet and nutrition plan, a fat burning exercise prescription is a necessary component of any healthy weight loss program.

Before beginning any healthy weigh loss program, it is strongly advised that you consult with your physician.

Do you want to learn more about a fat burning exercise prescription as a part of a healthy weight loss program? I've just finished a new ebook on how you can get lasting weight loss results utilizing "The 10 Step Permanent Weight Loss Formula". Get it FREE by clicking the links below.

More healthy weight loss program advice can be found at

About the author: For the past 25 years Malton Schexneider has been a practicing physical therapist, a nationally known educator, a former university professor, a published author, a clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy, and personal success coach to thousands of people just like you who were seeking lifestyle transformation.

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