Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass or simply start to get back in shape, you need to exercise, as eating healthy will only take you so far. But how should you choose the exercise that is right for you? You have to take into consideration what your goals are, how much effort you are willing to invest in this endeavor, as well as your personal preferences.

Let’s have a look at your goals. It stands to reason that if you’re starting to exercise because you need to lose a few pounds, you won’t select the same exercise regiment as if you wanted to gain a dozen pounds of muscle! Low intensity exercise is ideal to burn fat, as it moves the body into a state in which it will try to burn accumulated fat as a cellular energy source. Sustained, low intensity is ideal for weight loss. Examples of this type of exercise is walking, either naturally or on a treadmill, or using an elliptical trainer at a lower setting. Of course, the more you progress, the easier it will become, and you’ll have to step up the intensity to keep your fat burning furnace operating at peak efficiency!

Building muscles require not only the right nutrition, but a lot of resistance training. Resistance training, or working with weights, damages skeletal muscle cells, which are then repaired in the rest periods after your workouts. If you workout was intense enough, your muscles will grow. Weight training is the preferred method of those who want to increase their muscle mass.

Your personal preferences as to the type of exercise you do have to be taken into consideration. If you mistakenly pick types of exercise you are not comfortable with, that are too difficult, too easy, or not challenging enough, or that you simply don’t like, you are unlikely to stick with it, making your efforts and your investment worthless. Think about it. Imagine yourself a year from now: are you happy with the exercise you’ve chosen?

No matter your goals and your methods, remember that you are what you eat. Good nutrition may not be the only thing that counts to build muscle or lose weight, but it certainly is the foundation on which everything else is built. Consider using protein supplement or meal replacements, such as ViSalus, to support your muscle building or weight loss efforts. Done the right way, it can multiply your efforts and your results, and provide even greater motivation!

Above all, chose a type of exercise that fits your current physical state; staying safe is the first step to a healthy new lifestyle! If you haven’t exercised or even moved much in years, don’t expect, or try, to run a marathon, and if you’ve never lifted weights, heavy bench press sets are not for you. Both of these examples are sure ways to get severely injured, quickly, and set back your exercise efforts by weeks, months or even more. Don’t despair that you’re not doing enough; you need to get started, and progress will find you faster than you think!

Author's Bio: 

Cecil D. Murphy is a writer and online marketer specializing in wellness, health and nutritional products. He was drawn to this field because of his own dark past both as a smoker, and as one who struggles with his weight. Visit his website to learn more about the Body by Vi Challenge, or to inquire about ViSalus products in Canada, either as a customer or distributor, if you're ready to make a massive positive change in your life!