Tackling this daily task in the Weekly Household Planner:
I shared some ideas on this topic a few months ago, but as the school year approaches and we begin to start NEW routines, I thought it would be good to approach it again, especially since I’ve been able to get back into a routine that is easy and helping me stay a little more balanced. We all need that!
I thought if might be helpful to share some of the most effective fat burning workouts. A lot of us feel you have to work out for hours on end to burn fat, but the reality is much different.
As you begin on a regimen of fat-burning exercises, it helps to know a bit about how weight loss works. Within each fat cell are drops of oil made up of triglycerides. These drops of oil are, essentially, the body’s fuel reserves. If you continue eating more calories than you burn, the body continues to store up the triglycerides in your fat cells.
During weight loss (which can be initiated through fat-burning workouts), hormonal triggers cause the fat cells to release these stored-up triglycerides. Then they are processed primarily by the liver to give you the extra energy your body needs to keep up with your exercising.
So for fat-burning workouts to be effective, the above cycle needs to be set into motion. Many sources claim to have the best exercises; in sorting through them, you can discern some common threads to put together an optimal fat-burning workout. Here are some ideas and tips on how to get the most fat-burning out of your exercise time.
Intensity Versus Length
Some sources suggest that a short, intense workout may actually burn fat better than long, drawn-out hours in the gym. This does seem like good news – many people are pressed for time, and a gym membership is not for everyone – especially not in our family! For an intense workout that is reputed to burn fat effectively, try a combination of those old exercises you might remember from gym class:
* Jumping jacks
* Running in place (vigorously)
* “Iron Chair” or wall sit
* Reaches and side-bends
This approach is said to be more effective if you do not rest between exercises.
Cardio and Toning
Cardio and toning exercises are said to be a winning combination. Cardio exercises work large muscle groups and increase the heart rate and circulation, and target toning concentrates on the muscles of particular parts of the body (arm and leg curls, weights, etc.). For an effective fat-burning workout, try following 20 minutes of vigorous walking with 10 to 20 minutes of weight training. Or, after 30 minutes of aerobics, work on some specific toning moves like push-ups or butt-toning exercises.
One of my all time favorite workouts – that is only 20 minutes, but a GOOD 20 minutes is Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred-It With Weights. This workout is a great stand-by and if I do only have 20 minutes, it gets my blood pumping and the weight portion really gets my muscles toned. You will be sore the next day~
Interestingly, resistance exercises actually cause minute amounts of damage to the muscles being worked. As the body rebuilds and repairs this damaged tissue, it builds the strength and tone of the muscle. Lifting weights may be the most effective type of resistance workout, but resistance exercises are really defined as any exercise that contracts the muscles. You can incorporate resistance into your cardio workout by carrying or attaching weights, or add weights to your toning regimen.
If you’ve never tried Pilates to try to re-shape your body, I highly recommend it. I was an avid Pilates person a few years ago and shifted my workout when I began running more. But, I am back to a Pilates workout a few days a week. I have two new DVD workouts that I picked up about a month ago and I love them. I can choose between several different workouts which are on the same DVD and they are only 20 minutes. Again, short enough that I can squeeze that in first thing in the morning or when my little guy goes to rest time. Flat Abs Pilates and Lower Body Pilates. Both are Mari Windsor products, and she knows Pilates. The latter one is a bit more expensive, but worth it. I struggle with hip and thigh “spread” and this one will help battle that.
If you are on a tight budget and do not have the room to purchase a DVD, make sure you check out your local library. You would be amazed at what can be checked out – all for FREE. Another idea is to join SwagBucks for FREE and earn points for searching the web, which can then be turned in for Amazon.com gift cards. This is a perfect way to get virtually “free” products on amazon. I have done this for years.
What is your favorite at-home workout?