Taking plenty of exercise is a good way to burn extra calories and slim down. It also makes the body fitter and stronger and that's a good reason to keep active in its self.
But whether a specific activity is being perused to provide weight loss, or to improve physical fitness, the quality of the exercise performed is as important as the quantity. Swinging weights around in a gym is not as effective as using controlled movements. A few laps of the pool, interspersed with periods of chatting or horsing around, will not provide the same results as half an hour or more of consistent swimming.
Even the best of exercise routines can be improved though, and all it takes is a few tweaks.
5 Tips to Help You Get Better Results from Exercise Periods
Power-up Your Cardio Sessions
According to EXUDE Fitness founder, Edward Jackowski, most people find it easier to sustain prolonged cardio sessions than lifting weights or doing other forms of strenuous exercise. This allows runners and aerobics practitioners to burn a substantial amount of calories and Jackowski recommends devoting 60% of gym time to cardio work.
However, clocking-in and putting in the time is not enough, it is important to work hard. Jackowski suggest anyone who isn't winded by their activity needs to step on the gas. A person who is struggling on the treadmill can apparently burn off just as many calories as a fitter companion who is running much faster, but finds it easy to do because they have a superior level of fitness.
Build Bigger Muscles for Better Fat Burning
Not everyone dreams of becoming the next Mr Olympia, but even modest increases in muscle size can improve weight loss results. Bigger muscles require more calories and it is a requirement that remains constant 24-hours a day.
It is also generally believed that muscle tissue has the ability to burn fat 30 times faster than fatty tissue, so packing on a few extra pounds of muscle can be good way to wave goodbye to some of that unwanted body fat.
However, muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue, so the readings on the scales can be misleading. If the scales tell the same old story, or indicate an increase in weight, that may not be a bad thing. The BMI may have reduced considerably, even if the scales suggest otherwise. Muscle tissue is more compact than fat tissue, so the use of a tape measure around the waist and hips may register the fat loss the scales do not. [Further Reading at Livestrong]
Add Some Variety for Better Results
Doing the same workout routine day in and day out can soon become boring and this can result in a lack of motivation. The other problem is the body adapts quickly and an exercise form that may have been very effective one month may no longer be so the next. This is the reason why most professional fitness instructors keep changing their clients' routines. A jogger or cyclist can makes things interesting by changing their route, and maybe choosing one with more (or less) inclines. A bodybuilder can substitute hammer curls with concentration curls, or discontinue squats in favour of the leg press. There's a lot of truth in that old saying about variety being the spice of life. [Further Reading at One Life]
Reap the Core Benefits
Engaging the body's core during every exercise can be a very good way to help turbocharge weight loss results. Larger muscle groups burn more calories and the abdominal and back muscles are needed for most types of exercise, even though this is not always apparent. If the logic of this seems doubtful cast your mind back and remember the last time you suffered from back pain and how it affected so many different activities that would not normally be associated with the back muscles. Bringing the core into play is not hard to do. Try tensing the stomach muscles a few times during barbell curls or while taking e a run. Or add a few plank twists the next time you attempt press-ups. There are numerous exercises that target the core and other “core” benefits include better balance and stability. [Learn More at the Mayo Clinic website]
“HIT” Yourself Harder for Better Results
Experts at the American College of Sports Medicine recommend a training technique called HIT (high intensity training) that can make the metabolism faster while training and allow it remain that way for 1.5 to 24 hours after the activity has ceased. HIT involves alternating the intensity of the chosen pursuit. For instance, in the case of cycling, 60 seconds of leisurely riding should be followed by a 60 second burst of speed, with the “cycle” being continued throughout the entire exercise period.