Boosting your metabolism is the secret. What exactly is metabolism? It's the amount of energy -- in the form of calories -- that we burn during the day. Sure, we burn calories when we run or walk. But we also burn calories when we sit at the computer or TV, even when we sleep. It’s what's referred to as resting metabolic rate.
Tip #1: Build muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, you boost your resting metabolism, and that makes your body burn more calories. That's why I recommend adding weight training to an exercise program.
Some examples: using hand weights to do bicep curls, using Snap Fitness weight machines, even doing specific calisthenics such as push-ups and abdominal crunches. If you're building strength, you are losing weight. Any kind of strength training is going to increase muscle mass. I recommend weight training 3-4 days a week. Come see me at Snap Fitness of Abbeville so I can set you up with a well-balanced strength-training program that targets the major muscle groups.
Tip #2: Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. There's no getting around it, the biggest burn comes from cardiovascular exercise. That means running, hiking, walking, cycling, dancing, kickboxing, or using Snap Fitness cardio machines, anything that gets your heart rate up. Ideally, you should do this four to five times a week for 30 to 40 minutes each time. The whole idea here is just getting out there and burning as many calories as you can. “You should be exercising at a level where you can talk, but you can't sing."
Tip #3: Focus on frequency, duration, intensity. As long as you step up your exercise program from what you're doing now, you're going to see faster weight-loss results. Step up the amount of exercise, the length of time of your workouts and the intensity, and you'll definitely see progress.
Tip #4: Target losing one or two pounds a week. That's pretty much the limit because any more than that would require severe diet restriction. If you think about it, one pound of body weight equals 3,500 calories. That's a lot to burn. Actually, that's all the fat your body will let you lose anyway. Any more weight loss will be water weight or muscle weight, and you'll gain that right back.
Tip #5: Don't run if you hate running. If you don't like what you're doing, you're going to end up dropping out. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, one that you'll like to do. But consider this: Popular sports like tennis or racquetball let you combine muscle conditioning and cardiovascular burn. However, you won't build as much muscle mass (or lose as much weight) as you would with other forms of strength training.
Tip #6: Exercise in the morning. You'll stick with your exercise program. I think it's because if you decide to exercise at lunch or in the afternoon, you have plenty of time to come up with excuses. But if you do it first thing in the morning, it eliminates the time you have to come up with those excuses.
Get in the habit and focus on your goals. You can accomplish anything with the right tools and mindset that you are going to lose that weight, or that you are going to tone up.
If you really want that extra boost…intense, cardio classes are coming soon to Snap Fitness and I will be the one to make sure you get in the shape that you need to be in. Stay tuned for more info.