When the topic of weight loss and exercise comes up, it’s a sure bet the question of which exercises burn the most calories will come up. Of course, anyone who is looking to lose weight and get in great shape wants to know what fitness activities will get them to their goal.
How Do I Burn More Calories?
It can be tempting to think that all you need to burn calories is cardio, but that isn’t true. Yes, cardio is great and you should do it. It is good for your heart, your metabolism and your overall health. Combined with a healthy diet, you can lose weight and get fit with cardio, but if it’s the only thing you’re doing, you are missing out on an important component of your fitness.
One of the best ways to burn calories, both while exercising and after, is to combine cardiovascular exercise with strength training. Weight bearing exercise burns calories during the exercise and continues to do so afterwards when your body is at rest. Some examples of good exercises include:
Burpees are tough, which is one of the reasons they are so effective. They combine cardio with strength training, and they really burn those calories. From a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart, squat down with hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs back behind you, which should put you in a pushup position. Lower your chest to do a pushup, and then bring your feet forward, returning to the squat position. Stand up and do it again.
This is a basic squat, with a twist. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, lower yourself into a squat and then jump back up into a standing position.
To really get your body burning those calories, you have to challenge yourself, and get a bit outside of your comfort zone. Of course, that does not mean push yourself to the point of injury. It simply means to push just past the point where you feel comfortable. If you’re running and starting to feel tired, or doing jumping jacks or mountain climbers ( a great calorie-burning exercise) push just a little bit further than you think you can. This is where your body starts to really burn those calories.
Many women shy away from strength training because they don't want to get "bulky." This isn't really an issue, but building muscle will help you burn more calories and thus more fat.
Do I Need A Personal Trainer?
If you are new to fitness, or having trouble staying on track, a personal trainer can help give you the direction and support to reach your fitness goals. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club has the experience and knowledge to help you develop a personalized fitness plan that works for you.
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