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Top 10 rules for fat-burning exercise

Fat loss exercise tips

Let’s be honest. The appeal of shedding excess body fat is what gets many of us pulling on those training shoes and signing up for pricey gym memberships. If blasting body fat and burning calories is one of your main exercise goals, these 10 fat loss exercise tips will ensure you get the most out of every fat burning workout minute.

By Kirstie Iona McIntosh

Fat burning exercise on a treadmill

Be intense with your fat burning exercise

Don't be fooled by the so-called fat-burning zone. This is the misguided notion that working at a lower intensity is better for fat burning than working at a higher effort level (say, for example, walking instead of running.) The harder you exercise, the more calories you will burn and it is this that really counts when it comes to losing fat.

Choose your fat loss exercise carefully

There is no such thing as the 'ultimate' calorie-burning activity. Energy burned is dependent not just on the activity itself, but on how much effort you put in, how skilled you are at it, how long you do it for, and how often. So choose a fat burn exercise that you are going to do regularly and consistently. That means an activity that you actually enjoy (unless you want your workouts to involve untold misery and boredom!) and one that is practical and accessible.

Exercise larger muscles for greater calorie burn

Serious fat-burning activity uses the large muscle groups of the body – the thighs and bottom, chest and back. The greater the overall recruitment of muscle, the higher the calorie expenditure. So in your gym workouts, you are much better off using, say, the rower than one of those arm-cranking machines for maximum calorie burn.

Sustainable exercise development

To fire up the calorie furnace, fat-burning activity has to be sustainable for a reasonable period. So while skipping is great exercise, it's not much use if you can only do it for three minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 20-60 minutes per session, three to five times per week. It doesn't have to be continuous effort.

Interval training to maximise calorie burn

Interval training, in which you mix hard efforts with bouts of recovery, is one of the best ways of maximising calorie expenditure, improving aerobic fitness and making use of limited time. To get the most out of an interval session, ensure that you work outside the comfort zone on the efforts and ease right off during the recoveries. Try a 2:2 rest/work ratio to start with.

Carry the exercise load

Activities that are weight bearing, such as walking and running, use more calories than those in which your weight is supported (such as swimming or cycling), simply because you have to shift your own body weight against gravity.

Running on empty?

You may have heard that exercising on an empty stomach in the morning burns more fat. It is true that the body has to rely on fat stores if you don't break the overnight fast, but then again, the lack of a ready energy supply may mean that you don't work out for as long, or as hard, as you may have otherwise done.

Go for the afterburn

One of the best things about exercise is that the fat-burning benefits continue long after you’ve got out the shower. This 'afterburn' (increased calorie expenditure) is far greater following exercise at 75%  of maximum heart rate, or higher – another reason to eschew those low-intensity workouts!

Increase exercise intensity

If you want to keep seeing results in your fat-burning programme, you must keep increasing the intensity. This isn’t the same as increasing your effort, because as you get fitter, your body will be able to cope with increasing demands. If you rest on your laurels, the benefits will begin to tail off.

Keep moving to burn fat

Maximise your daily fat burning by moving! Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that leaner people tend to stand and move more than overweight people in normal daily life. Their ‘non-exercise activity thermogenesis’ (NEAT) was as much as 350 calories higher each day. So don't just sit there, wiggle your toes, shake a leg, get up regularly and move your body!

Typical calorie expenditure 9 - stone (57kg) woman 11 - stone (70kg) man
Running (calories per hour at 8-minute mile pace) 720

913

Swimming (calories per hour for continuous laps) 630

730

Uphill walking at a 10% gradient (calories per hour ) 590

694

Rowing (calories per hour at a moderate pace) 540

611

Cycling (calories per hour at 12-14mph pace ) 500

584

Jogging (calories per hour at 12-minute mile pace) 440

511

Walking (calories per hour at 15-minute mile pace) 252

365

 

 

Comments (2)

  • alphabeta 'Aerobic exercises help you burn fat. Don't forget about dancing ( http://slism.com/diet/fat-burning-exercise-tips.html ). For best results try to spend at least 20 minutes exercising. I agree on "Exercise larger muscles for greater calorie burn." Large muscle groups like your quads are the 18 wheelers of burning calories. Focusing on these muscle is of to a great start. '

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  • jamesheller 'Thanks for sharing 10 necessary fat loss tips, this is really appreciated that you consider almost all aerobic exercises for weight loss. But in practical only few people can add these in their daily routine. '

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