How many times have you looked at yourself and felt the sudden urge to work out? So you hit the treadmill or the elliptical and for 20–30 minutes you give it all you have. When you’re finished, you feel momentarily great but then you come out of it feeling sore, tired and over it. And then, more likely than not, you never go back to the same workout again, because rather than feeling fulfilled by your accomplishment, you associate the exercise with the pain it produces. What if you started to associate exercise with pleasure instead? What if someone told you that you could lose weight by exercising comfortably? Doesn’t sound real, does it? Well, you can: it’s called aerobic exercise.

Before exploring what aerobic exercise is all about, let’s start with the problem: Many people work out because they want to lose or maintain weight. If you want to lose weight, you probably mean that you want to lose fat. The first thing a lot of people will do is cut as much fat as possible out of their diet. This is the wrong approach, though, because as soon as you drastically cut your fat intake in your diet, your brain will think you’re starving yourself, and it will begin to save and store fat in your body for future usage.

When most people go on a diet they look to cut out fats, and that’s why most diets fail. It’s why 95–97% of people who diet will regain any weight they lose over the following two to three years. That’s right! People who diet more often gain, not lose, weight over the long-run. What’s tragic about people who try to diet and fail is that they often end up blaming themselves, and they’re less likely to try again in the future. But the truth is that it wasn’t them who failed – it was their strategy. A crazy diet is not going to drive you toward the outcome you’re working so hard to achieve: sustainable weight loss and healthy living will though.

Now, none of this means that eating healthy doesn’t matter. Eating right is crucial to keeping your cells in peak state and generating the energy that keeps you motivated, and it can help you fight inflammation and joint pain. Consuming the right nutrients, and keeping your body clean of toxins, is key to living healthy, but let’s focus on weight loss here. Dieting is not your solution to fat loss, aerobic exercise is.

Aerobic exercise for weight loss is enjoyable, and there are several ways to learn how to enjoy working out.

What happens when you’re exercising anaerobically?

1. You’ll start to store fat since the body will move toward using glycogen to supply the necessary energy. Do it long enough and you’ll rewire your brain to automatically burn glycogen over fat.

2. When your storage of glycogen is consumed your body will turn to your blood sugar. Two-thirds of your blood sugar is used by your nervous system to operate, and there are a host of health problems that come with low blood sugar

3. Your muscles will undergo a large oxygen deficit and, as your body reroutes more oxygen toward your muscles, your organs will begin to suffer. When organs, and the cells they’re made of, weaken, some mutate and some die. Overall, your body will start to experience micro-breakdowns and, over time, this can become quite serious to your health.

Not exercising doesn’t work either, so the right program lies somewhere between exercising too lightly, or not taxing your lungs and your heart enough, and anaerobic exercise, or overtaxing your body.

The balance you’re looking for comes in the form of aerobic exercise.

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