By Christina DAdamio / Tribune News Service
If you want to maximize your workout and lose weight faster, you might want to rethink your workout routine. We consulted with Dr. Luiza Petre, Board Certified Cardiologist and Weight Management specialist, to get you the best exercises for fat loss.
Its important to remember that not all exercises lead to weight loss.
While weight loss is an awesome side effect of working out, exercise can benefit your brain, your mood, and your overall health, too, says Dr. Petre. However, not all movement is good movement when it comes to weight loss. While I encourage all types of fitness for more reasons than just weight loss, if your focus is dropping pounds, you should know that not all forms of exercise are as effective for weight loss as others. In fact, there may be more bad exercises than good ones when it comes to losing weight and building muscle.
Instead, give strength training a chance. The not-so-simple workout can do wonders for your fat loss plans.
If you do any kind of strengthening or toning exercises to stay healthy and to remove inches, I encourage all efforts, for more reasons than just weight loss, she adds. But if your number one goal is weight loss, you may want to reprioritize your workout schedule. And most importantly, if you are doing an exercise that causes you real pain, your body is trying to tell you STOP! But do not go to the other extreme and completely neglect strength training.
That being said, if you want to slim down, dont put your body through stress just to reach your goals.
The key to all weight loss goals, and health improvement at the same time, without bringing your body to the risk of injury is balance, Petre says. Start with a good, healthy balance of strength training and a bit of cardio to build your endurance so you can continue shedding pounds and reach your goals.
Here's what Dr. Petre recommends:
Tabata is a dream come true for anyone whose biggest excuse for skipping a workout is lack of time, she says. Its designed to be just a few minutes of high intensity interval training that consists of 20 seconds of hard effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times.
The best thing about Tabata is that you can perform these short trainings with your own body weight in the comfort of your own home, Petre adds. Simply pick four exercises, such as jump rope, squats, squat jumps, and mountain climbers, then do each for 20 seconds as hard and fast as you can. It will raise your heart rate, pump up your muscles, and increase your fitness level.
Youll definitely lose extra weight and boost your cardio fitness with this type of training, Petre. Boot camp training takes the military workout out of basic training and into gyms and homes everywhere. Typical boot camp workouts combine intense aerobic exercise with muscle building, resistance exercises, and challenges that boost flexibility and coordination.
These workout programs are so popular because they work every muscle group, dont require any equipment, and can be done anywhere, she adds. Daily boot camp training burns fat and builds muscle, therefore increasing weight loss and supporting maintenance of a healthy weight.
If weight loss is a goal, incorporating strength training into your routine is essential, Petre said. The key to shedding pounds is a strong foundation, and the best way to build muscle is with weights. Lifting weights has been shown to increase resting metabolic rate, which means you continue to burn calories after working out. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. By increasing your base metabolic rate (BMR) and burning more calories at rest, you also increase your calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.
While its true that cardio-only routines get your heart working harder and help your body burn calories, strength training is what will give your weight-loss goals that extra boost, she adds. This doesnt mean that cardio training should be completely ignored. Weight lifting, cardio, and your diet combine to make your body burn fat for fuel instead of muscle. Practice these types of training three times a week to burn around 1 to 1.5 pounds of fat per week.
High intensity interval training (HIIT)
High intensity interval training is a form of exercise characterized by periods of hard work followed by brief periods of recovery or rest, Petre says. You can perform it using various cardio formats, gym equipment, and weighted or bodyweight exercises. When you do high-intensity interval training, your body and metabolism function at a higher rate of burned calories for hours afterwards. It means youre burning calories while watching your favorite TV show in the comfort of your home.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, this type of workout routine tends to burn anywhere from 6-15 percent more calories compared to other training methods, thanks to the calories you burn after you exercise, she adds. High intensity interval training can be performed up to 4 times per week. The only downside is that it takes your body quite a bit of time to recover, and you can physically only do it for 20-30 minutes at a time before you become too exhausted to continue. If you listen to your body, and pay attention to results, this type of workout will take your training to the next level.
Strength based circuit training
Compared to traditional strength training, strength based circuit training will help you lose more fat while still building muscle, she says. Since youre performing high-intensity movements with short rest periods, you will also get the added benefits of metabolic conditioning. Its slightly less intense than HIIT or Tabata as its less about short bursts of maximum effort and more about completing quality exercises with good form over a longer duration set.
Strength based circuit training is very effective at helping burn fat, adds Petre. It provides both strength and cardio benefits, it takes less time than a normal strength workout, and focusing on the entire body in a single workout maximizes calorie burn and movement function.
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