Top 10 Rules For Fat-Burning Exercise

Top 10 Rules For Fat-Burning Exercise

If blasting body fat and burning calories is one of your main exercise goals, these 10 fat loss exercise tips will ensure you get the most out of every fat burning workout minute.

 

Be intense with your fat burning exercise

Don't be fooled by the so-called fat-burning zone. This is the misguided notion that working at a lower intensity is better for fat burning than working at a higher effort level (say, for example, walking instead of running.) The harder you exercise, the more calories you will burn and it is this that really counts when it comes to losing fat.

Choose your fat loss exercise carefully

There is no such thing as the 'ultimate' calorie-burning activity. Energy burned is dependent not just on the activity itself, but on how much effort you put in, how skilled you are at it, how long you do it for, and how often. So choose a fat burn exercise that you are going to do regularly and consistently. That means an activity that you actually enjoy (unless you want your workouts to involve untold misery and boredom!) and one that is practical and accessible.

Exercise larger muscles for greater calorie burn

Serious fat-burning activity uses the large muscle groups of the body – the thighs and bottom, chest and back. The greater the overall recruitment of muscle, the higher the calorie expenditure. So in your gym workouts, you are much better off using, say, the rower than one of those arm-cranking machines for maximum calorie burn.

Sustainable exercise development

To fire up the calorie furnace, fat-burning activity has to be sustainable for a reasonable period. So while skipping is great exercise, it's not much use if you can only do it for three minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 20-60 minutes per session, three to five times per week. It doesn't have to be continuous effort.

Interval training to maximise calorie burn

Interval training, in which you mix hard efforts with bouts of recovery, is one of the best ways of maximising calorie expenditure, improving aerobic fitness and making use of limited time. To get the most out of an interval session, ensure that you work outside the comfort zone on the efforts and ease right off during the recoveries. Try a 2:2 rest/work ratio to start with.

Carry the exercise load

Activities that are weight bearing, such as walking and running, use more calories than those in which your weight is supported (such as swimming or cycling), simply because you have to shift your own body weight against gravity.

Running on empty?

You may have heard that exercising on an empty stomach in the morning burns more fat. It is true that the body has to rely on fat stores if you don't break the overnight fast, but then again, the lack of a ready energy supply may mean that you don't work out for as long, or as hard as you may have otherwise done.

Go for the afterburn

One of the best things about exercise is that the fat-burning benefits continue long after you’ve got out the shower. This 'afterburn' (increased calorie expenditure) is far greater following exercise at 75 per cent of maximum heart rate, or higher – another reason to eschew those low-intensity workouts!

Increase exercise intensity

If you want to keep seeing results in your fat-burning programme, you must keep increasing the intensity. This isn’t the same as increasing your effort, because as you get fitter, your body will be able to cope with increasing demands. If you rest on your laurels, the benefits will begin to tail off.

Keep moving to burn fat

Maximise your daily fat burning by moving! Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that leaner people tend to stand and move more than overweight people in normal daily life. Their ‘non-exercise activity thermogenesis’ (NEAT) was as much as 350 calories higher each day. So don't just sit there, wiggle your toes, shake a leg, get up regularly and move your body.

Here are some typical calorie burns for a number of activities. Bear in mind these values will differ from individual to individual are intended as a rough guide:

Typical calorie expenditure 9 stone (57kg) woman 11 stone (70kg) man
Running (calories per hour at 8-minute mile pace) 720 913
Swimming (calories per hour for continuous laps) 630 730
Uphill walking at a 10 per cent gradient (calories per hour) 590 694
Rowing (calories per hour at a moderate pace) 540 611
Cycling (calories per hour at 12-14 mph pace) 500 584
Jogging (calories per hour at 12-minute mile pace) 440 511
Walking (calories per hour at 15-minute mile pace) 252 365
April 09, 2020 — Joaquin Torres
How Much Exercise Is Good For You?

How Much Exercise Is Good For You?

30 minutes a day? Four times a week? Here’s a guide to the amount of exercise you need to do to stay healthy.

 

Thanks to the rapid advances in science and medicine the answers to the questions surrounding health and exercise are clearer than ever. There’s no doubt that frequency and intensity of exercise are directly related to long term health benefits, but for many people the key issue is what kind of exercise should I do and how much?

30 minutes of exercise a day is good for you

In the UK the recommendation from the government and the British Heart Foundation is for 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week for adults who fall into the 19-64 years of age category. However there are various forms that this exercise can take and the UK’s National Health Service breaks that down into 3 sections. Either 150 minutes or two and half hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week plus muscle strengthening activities on 2 days or; 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise plus muscle strengthening on 2 days or; a 90 minute mixture of moderate and vigorous intensity plus muscle strengthening activities.

Moderate and vigorous aerobic activity

The government defines moderate intensity exercise as something that elevates the heart rate, makes the body temperature rise and makes you breathe more heavily. This would include activities like fast walking, swimming, ice skating and some forms of dancing. Vigorous intensity exercise includes activities like football, rugby, aerobics, running, cycling/spinning (up hills or fast), tennis, dancing, squash and boxing/martial arts. If you are doing these things vigorously, they should make you breathe harder, give you a significantly higher heart rate and make conversation difficult.

Muscle strengthening exercises should involve working major muscle groups like the arms, leg, chest, abdomen, back and shoulders and all of that can be done with weight training, sit ups, press ups, circuit training and yoga. If you follow the recommended advice the health benefits are certainly huge. The risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and depression is reduced the more active you are, although diet and the amount of calories consumed is a massive part of the healthy equation.

In the USA The Institute of Medicine and The American Council on Exercise recommend at least an hour of moderate intense physical activity a day. However it’s worth bearing in mind that the USA’s definition of moderate intense physical activity takes into account calorie burning activities such as housework, ironing, stair-climbing and gentle walking and swimming, which would all be regarded as part of your hour a day.

Benefits of HIIT 

Part of the equation in terms of what exercise you should do is informed by your lifestyle and its impact on the amount of time available for exercise. That in turn will dictate your choice of activity and the duration and intensity of your workout. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is becoming increasingly popular because of its convenience and health benefits. 

 

"The workouts can vary in duration from intervals of only 20 seconds up to around 7-8 minutes with recovery periods in between each interval."

 

The workouts can vary in duration from intervals of only 20 seconds up to around 7-8 minutes with recovery periods in between each interval. The idea is that you work at your maximal heart rate for that interval, which means you are aiming to get your heart rate up to between 80-95 per cent of capacity. As well as the general heart, lung and well being benefits, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT also increases aerobic and anaerobic fitness, provides improved cholesterol levels, boosts insulin sensitivity and offers an improvement in levels of abdominal fat.

Studies have also shown that HIIT, which can take the form of circuit training, sprints, cycle sprints and weights, offers a superior sustained calorie burn due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) which helps burns fat. This makes it even more attractive compared to more conventional forms of exercise and add to that the convenience factor of getting the required health benefits from something that only requires half of the time and you can see why HIIT is one of the more appealing fitness fads for time-pressured people. 

According to exercise physiologist Gary O’Donovan, vigorous exercise is the way forward to getting your body fit and/or trying to lose weight. He suggests that: “Health, fitness and performance are all maximized by working harder — which isn't to say that you won't benefit from lighter exercise, just that you will benefit more if you work harder during your fitness sessions.”

Ironically though to get to the stage where you can really benefit from HIIT you need to be fit enough to sustain that work rate and you can only achieve that kind of fitness from regular, longer moderate intensity aerobic workouts! Being as active as possible for as long as possible really is the best way to sustain a healthy lifestyle and enhance your life expectancy. Any exercise you can get for as long as possible whenever you can is always welcome. Only you can know what is realistic in terms of your own lifestyle, but the closer you get to the recommendations in terms of frequency and intensity of exercise, the chances are, the healthier you will be.

Government recommendations for exercise will vary from country to country. Therefore if you want to find out the specific recommendations for your location, visit the health section of your government's website. 

April 09, 2020 — Joaquin Torres
Are Home Training Workouts Effective?

Are Home Training Workouts Effective?

Finding time for fitness is never easy, but home training could provide the answer. From assembling a few pieces of basic training equipment, to setting up a complete gym in a room in your house, at-home workouts could be the key to your fitness.

 

If you’re going to be training at home, can you get the same level of quality in terms of equipment and benefits from your training as you get from a gym? The answer is yes, but with certain provisos. Home training can offer many advantages over gym training but equally, it can be attractive to visit a dedicated facility to train, rather than carry out exercises in front of the TV or in a spare room.

 

Home training - for and against …

For home workouts

  • No monthly gym fees required.
  • Can be inexpensive (basic equipment such as an exercise mat, dumbbells and a stability ball can be purchased cheaply).
  • Saves time by eliminating traveling to and from the gym.
  • Convenience — your training facility is always available whenever you feel like exercising.
  • No queuing to use your favourite piece of gym equipment.

Against home workouts

  • Needs imagination to maintain interest in your training.
  • You need to ensure your form is correct without the supervision of a gym instructor, otherwise injuries may occur.
  • Initial outlay can be high if you’re planning to set up a gym in your own home.
  • It can become boring and de-motivating to continually train alone. At a public gym you’ll find:
  • There is likely to be a greater range of equipment that you can't afford for your home gym.
  • More people therefore it is more social
  • Gymnasium equipment is constantly evolving so your local gym should be regularly updating the machines, whereas that may not be financially possible with a home gym.

 

What home gym equipment do I need to train at home?

If you’re still thinking of a home workout, what equipment do you need?

As with any activity, depending upon your available budget, you can create anything from a dedicated gymnasium facility to simply storing some dumbbells and other equipment and setting them up when needed. There is a huge variety of equipment on the market, the hardest part is deciding what not to buy. The following sections should help you decide what you can and cannot do without for your home gym.

The budget home gym

Armed with a relatively modest budget, you can buy enough equipment, which if used correctly, can train every muscle in your body. Additionally, it takes up very little room, so there is no need to sacrifice household space. Here are some of the core items you should think about investing in when initially setting up your home gym space:

  • Exercise Mat
  • Stability Balls
  • Dumbbells

Further items that you might wish to consider buying:

  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Workout Bench

The dedicated home gym

The home training market is vast and there’s an extensive range of exercise equipment available. If you are looking to set up a permanent training facility at home, you might want to consider the following equipment:

  • Free weights and dumbbells
  • Dedicated weights machines, for example: chest press machine
  • Cardiovascular equipment, for example: rower, treadmill, cross-trainer, stationary bike etc

Further items that you might wish to consider buying:

  • Weights benches
  • Heavy duty matting (to protect the floor from weights damage)
  • Mirrors
  • Sound and/ or TV system

It is entirely possible to build an impressive physique without highly specialised gymnasium machines but equally, today’s modern gyms have excellent training facilities and equipment.

Train at home without any equipment

You can complete a perfectly good fitness routine at home, using nothing more than your own bodyweight. Tricep dips, the plank, mountain climbers, lunges and bodyweight squats are all examples great conditioning exercises. As you progress in your training, you can increase the reps you complete of each exercise, raise the number of sets and also reduce the rest time between sets.

Another option for training at home is to follow a workout video. There are plenty of these videos available online for you to choose from and they rarely involve any additional equipment besides yourself.

So are home workouts effective?

The short answer is yes. Providing you are prepared to put a little time and effort into your workout at home, it can be just as effective as a gym workout. It all depends on the individual, some people prefer to see others working out to find motivation and know that if they did not make the effort to go to the gym, then they would not bother carrying out any exercise at home. However for others, the prospect of going into a gym is daunting and therefore exercising in the comfort of their own home is much more appealing.

If you are unsure whether to splash out on some home equipment or join your local gym, ask about trial memberships to see if you enjoy gym training. Many gyms offer promotions at certain times of the year and you can obtain some excellent deals. That way, you can see if the gym is for you without committing to a year’s subscription.

April 09, 2020 — Joaquin Torres