Losing weight can have transformative effects on your personal confidence and general satisfaction with life. It can also lead to life altering benefits to your physical health. While dieting often leads to short-term weight loss, it can be difficult to achieve long-term results with restrictive regimens. This is why most doctors recommend that patients combine diet changes with a regular exercise plan. With that said, exercise has a long list of health benefits, and while most of them are beneficial in some regard, not all of them target weight loss. In fact, some workout routines may lead to weight gain, or might not affect your weight at all.
The best way to lose weight through exercise is by burning fat. While the human body contains essential body fat, it also carries non-essential body fat, which is stored in the adipose tissue and referred to as storage fat. This is the fat you want to trim down on attempting weight loss. So if you’re looking to decrease your body fat and shed some pounds, here are the two types of exercises that you should focus on regularly incorporating.
Cardio, cardio, cardio
Cardio is the primary exercise that people turn to when seeking weight loss. It elevates your heart rate and burns calories at a fast rate, which makes it the quickest and simplest way to burn fat. By partaking in cardio, your body will burn extra calories regardless of whether you lower your food portion. When it comes to cardio though, not all exercises are the same. There are two main types of cardio, which can both be effective in different ways when implemented regularly.
1. High Interval Training (HIIT)
High intensity interval training consists of alternating high-intensity periods of cardio with low-intensity periods of recovery. This will usually involve one minute of sprinting followed by one minute of speed walking or jogging. This can also be applied to other forms of cardio though, such as cycling or even workout routines that involve sets of squat jumping and resting.
This is an extremely effective way to lose weight because HIIT uses the body’s energy reserves and allows your metabolism to stay elevated for hours following the workout. This is due to the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption effect. So with HIIT, you not only burn calories during the workout but you continue to burn them all day as your body recovers and restates muscle proteins that were damaged during the routine.
2. Steady-state Cardio
Steady-state cardio refers to any type of cardio done at a steady pace. While HIIT is a time-effective and efficient way to burn fat, steady-state cardio can be an equally effective weight loss method when done consistently. This kind of cardio not only improves stamina and endurance, but it will help you burn calories as well. For many people, this kind of cardio is more approachable and offers a wider variety of workout options. Steady-state cardio can take the form of dancing, jogging, walking, or biking, among many other forms of cardio. Since it’s less energy consuming than HIIT, it may be a more sustainable option for those who don’t naturally enjoy working out.
When combined together on different days of the week, or done alone regularly, these two forms of cardio can lead to fast and effective results. The best part about cardio is that it doesn’t require a video, a gym membership, or any specific guidelines. You can commit to go on walks for a couple hours each day, run for a few miles, or dance in your bedroom. However, while cardio raises your endorphins, endurance, and energy levels, it should be paired with other exercise methods in order to maximize effectivity.
As stated earlier, not all exercises help with weight loss and some workouts lead to weight gain or weight maintenece. While many people assume that all strength training leads to weight gain, that’s not necessarily the case. Of course, strength training can lead to an increase in muscle mass, but when done regularly with body weight or light weights, it can actually increase your metabolic rate of burning calories which helps you lose weight overtime.
Strength training is effective because it can help you lose weight while building muscle simultaneously. This causes your metabolism to increase in speed, which will allow you to burn fat at a quicker rate. An increase in muscle mass will burn more calories than fat, which means that you’ll burn more calories constantly. The use of weights or heaviness of weights is up to your discretion depending on how many repetitions and sets you want to do.
Many experts recommend beginning with body weight to perfect form before moving to weights. Below are the two highly recommended exercises for strength training that result in weight loss that will build your strength and get your heart racing while doing so. Keep in mind that these can all be done with or without weights.
When partaking in strength training, it’s important to get comfortable with the motions before adding weights. If you get in the habit of doing these exercises with improper form, they can actually hurt you and damage your muscles.
Weight loss doesn’t occur overnight. However, if you want to see long term results, it’s worth making these kinds of excercise a part of your regular routine. While these are both the most effective methods, everyone has different goals and obstacles in achieving weight loss. Before committing to either of these routines, consult with a doctor or schedule an assessment with a medical trainer to figure out the best plan for you.