If I had a dollar for every time someone mentioned weight loss when refering to how they look I would be a very wealthy man. So much has the term 'weight' entered our collective understanding of the process of slimming that the previous sentence would seem to be completely correct to the vast majority of the population. Is it important how heavy you are? Maybe if you're a jockey and you have to be carried by a horse. Or a cheerleader at the top of a human pyramid. But most people just want to look good and fit into a cute pair of jeans or a great dress when talking about weight. How slim we are is measured in centimetres (or sometimes inches) not kilograms (or pounds) so if your goal is to wear smaller sized clothing take your girth measurements and throw out your scales!
Ab exercises will get rid of my tummy - myth
By far the most common goal I hear is that people want to lose that fat around the stomach area. Given this huge demand, there has been many gimmics thrown at the public that suggest doing some sort of abdominal crunches will be the miracle cure (or your money back!). Please remember; abdominal strengthening targets your muscles not the layer of fat above them. The best result you can hope for is that the muscles have strengthened enough to 'pull in' your tummy but not got rid of it.
Best way to lose fat!
Got your attention? The simple truth is that there is no single miracle cure that will apply to everybody, just hard work and consistency, and understanding what it is you're trying to do! So here are some facts that will help you understand what benifits you can expect to see from various types of training.
1. WALKING - Walk like you're in a rush to get somewhere and you will find that this is one of the best fat-burning exercises that you can do and the longer you can go for (an hour would be great!) the more you will burn. The catch is that the benifit is only gained while performing the exercise.
2. RUNNING - A gentle jog can also burn fat as effectively as walking and will provide some extra resistance to the muscles in your legs, strengthening and toneing in the process. This will be harder to maintain for a given length of time than walking and will place more impact on your joints. However, this form of exercise has the potential to boost your metabolism so that even when you're not exercising you are still gaining the benifit of energy burning! Running at a pace that makes breathing difficult is harder to maintain and is less likely to burn as much fat as walking during the exercise. So why run? While it doesn't burn as much fat (a type of energy source) as walking during exercise it still burns energy. If you don't burn energy there is a high chance you will store it as fat so running will reduce this risk. Running also improves your lung capacity and ability to get oxygen to your muscles. This brings me to the GREAT benefit of running; it boosts your body's ability to burn fat as a form of energy when NOT exercising!
3. WEIGHT TRAINING - Conditioning your muscles will not only tone your body but increase your muscles ability to process oxygen which means improve your body's ability to burn fat. Also, because you can still breath effectively while working out, you can burn fat during the exercise.
So when choosing a plan to burn fat from your body consider how you want to do it and what you are able to maintain (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE).
- Burn fat at the time of the exercise (walking/jogging/weights)
- Boost your body's ability to burn energy throughout the day (Jogging/Running/Weights)
- Boost your body's ability to burn fat throughout the day (Running/Weights)