If you want to lose weight, there are two fundamental practices to be sure of success. Changing your eating and drinking habits, and performing regular exercise. So, whether you choose a cheap gym membership to help get yourself started, or prefer to stick to home and the local park, it’s time to cut down on your portions and get your blood circulating.
Let’s take a look at some of the best fat-burning activities around:
From gentle jogs to long distance efforts to short, sharp sprints, running is a fantastic way to burn off calories. There are some considerations to keep in mind, however. The first of these include the impact stresses that running can place on your joints and back. To counter this, don’t hold back when investing in a pair of running shoes, and wherever possible, avoid running on hard, unforgiving surfaces like roads, pavements, and pathways – grass, gravel and composite running tracks are much easier on your body.
Also, if you’re using a running machine, ie ellipticals or treadmills, don’t over-rely on the grips and rails as, over an extended period of time, this can place the strain on your wrists.
Running is an especially great cardio exercise because it puts your whole body to work, improving your flexibility and all-around fitness.
Skipping is a major fat burner that is great for your coordination, footwork and upper-body strength and toning. You might take a few sessions to get up to speed, but it’ll be well worth it once you get going. Why do you think boxers are so great at skipping? Apparently, they can burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes of intensive rope jumping. Whether at home, in the park or in the gym, whip out your rope and get to it – start with intensive one-minute bursts, then have a short break to catch your breath and go again. Soon you’ll be able to build up your ability to keep going and reap the fat-burning benefits.
To really experience cycling’s calorie-kill the ling properties, intensity is a must. Of course, maintaining high intensity over a period of time can be tough, and more so if you’re out on the road rather than spinning in a gym. So, as with skipping, focus on relatively short bursts of high-energy cycling/spinning before slowing down so that your breathing is more controlled, and then going again with another high-intensity burst of energy and pace. Going up gradients will work your quads, while greater resistance will put your calves through their paces.
There are other great cardio exercises and activities – such as swimming, squash, basketball, and boxing – but rowing is the one that will really make you hurt. Not only can rowers burn well in excess of 1000 calories an hour, they train their entire body, strengthening all over. It’s easy to overdo it with rowing, so be wise and gradually build up the intensity and duration of your sessions.
Also, focus the mind on both lower and upper-body, keeping your chest high and pushing through with your legs with each motion so that you’re not relying on your arms to do all the work. That way you’ll receive the full benefit of your punishing rowing rout, lines.
With solid rowing technique you can achieve a classic athlete’s figure while avoiding the high-impact strains and stresses that so many other cardio exercises place on your body.