Best Exercise Programs For Weight Loss

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When considering the best exercise program for weight loss, you want to be sure it includes the appropriate basic components of exercise that include frequency, duration, intensity and type. There are several different kinds of workouts that work well, and each can fit a particular set of needs.

What You Need to Know Before You Start a Weight Loss Workout Plan

You indeed want to hit the gym as soon as possible and burn as much body fat as you can. However, if you don’t note some things ahead of time, the whole exercise and fitness routine plan might not help you lose weight.

The following are some basic things you should know to make the weight loss and fitness program a success.

1. Your diet is more important than your workout choices

Having a good diet plus a healthy eating habit will go a long way to determine how fast you burn calories and fat. If your goal is massive changes in your body composition, give your diet the same attention as your fitness exercise. Healthy eating is not negotiable.

2. Exercise should be a meaningful part of your routine

For you to start seeing those massive results, you have to be consistent with your workout. You cannot burn all those fat by taking 30 minutes of exercise once in a while. Instead of looking for long minutes of workout once in a while, you can aim at shorter sessions like 10 to 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a week.

It could be Tuesday, Friday and Saturday or Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Holly Rilinger, a master Professional Trainer with Nike, says you should be sure that the routine allows you to rest in between and build-up for the next day.

3. You’ll need to push yourself through the workout plan

Let’s be honest. Workouts are not a walk in the park. However, if you will be achieving your weight loss goals with these routines, you need to bring your A-game all the time.

Rilinger says he prefers seeing his clients pushing through a 100% for 15 minutes, three times a week, than giving a weak 50%, 30 minutes five times a week. So, every time you are in for your workouts, ask yourself, am I punching hard enough?

4. Find a workout plan that makes you happy

Holly Rilinger says finding a certified personal trainer or workout plan that makes you happy is crucial to weight loss. According to him, you are more likely to stick with the plan when you enjoy doing it. It would help if you found a personal trainer that suits you and a plan you enjoy doing to achieve your goals.

Fitness program: steps to get started

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight — and even improve your sleep habits and self-esteem. And there’s more good news. You can start a fitness program in only five steps.

1. Assess your fitness level

You probably have some idea of how fit you are. But assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition, consider recording:

  • Your pulse rate before and immediately after walking 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)
  • How long it takes to walk 1 mile, or how long it takes to run 1.5 miles (2.41 kilometers)
  • How many standard or modified pushups you can do at a time
  • How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you
  • Your waist circumference, just above your hipbones
  • Your body mass index

2. Design your fitness program

It’s easy to say that you’ll exercise every day. But you’ll need a plan. As you design your fitness program, keep these points in mind:

  • Consider your fitness goals. Are you starting a fitness program to help lose weight? Or do you have another motivation, such as preparing for a marathon? Having clear goals can help you gauge your progress and stay motivated.
  • Create a balanced routine. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. To provide even greater health benefit and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended.But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefit.Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • Start low and progress slowly. If you’re just beginning to exercise, start cautiously and progress slowly. If you have an injury or a medical condition, consult your doctor or an exercise therapist for help designing a fitness program that gradually improves your range of motion, strength and endurance.
  • Build activity into your daily routine. Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Plan to watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill, read while riding a stationary bike, or take a break to go on a walk at work.
  • Plan to include different activities. Different activities (cross-training) can keep exercise boredom at bay. Cross-training using low-impact forms of activity, such as biking or water exercise, also reduces your chances of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint. Plan to alternate among activities that emphasize different parts of your body, such as walking, swimming and strength training.
  • Try high-interval intensity training. In high-interval intensity training, you perform short bursts of high-intensity activity separated by recovery periods of low-intensity activity.
  • Allow time for recovery. Many people start exercising with frenzied zeal — working out too long or too intensely — and give up when their muscles and joints become sore or injured. Plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.
  • Put it on paper. A written plan may encourage you to stay on track.

3. Assemble your equipment

You’ll probably start with athletic shoes. Be sure to pick shoes designed for the activity you have in mind. For example, running shoes are lighter in weight than cross-training shoes, which are more supportive.

If you’re planning to invest in exercise equipment, choose something that’s practical, enjoyable and easy to use. You may want to try out certain types of equipment at a fitness center before investing in your own equipment.

You might consider using fitness apps for smart devices or other activity tracking devices, such as ones that can track your distance, track calories burned or monitor your heart rate.

4. Get started

Now you’re ready for action. As you begin your fitness program, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start slowly and build up gradually. Give yourself plenty of time to warm up and cool down with easy walking or gentle stretching. Then speed up to a pace you can continue for five to 10 minutes without getting overly tired. As your stamina improves, gradually increase the amount of time you exercise. Work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Break things up if you have to. You don’t have to do all your exercise at one time, so you can weave in activity throughout your day. Shorter but more-frequent sessions have aerobic benefits, too. Exercising in short sessions a few times a day may fit into your schedule better than a single 30-minute session. Any amount of activity is better than none at all.
  • Be creative. Maybe your workout routine includes various activities, such as walking, bicycling or rowing. But don’t stop there. Take a weekend hike with your family or spend an evening ballroom dancing. Find activities you enjoy to add to your fitness routine.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard.
  • Be flexible. If you’re not feeling good

Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Workout, According to Research

No one hits the gym hoping for so-so results. You go in wanting to get 100% out of every rep, run and hard-earned bead of sweat. Fortunately for you, scientists and researchers want the same thing. Here, 13 incredibly efficient strategies, courtesy of the latest research, to get the biggest benefit out of every one of your workouts.

1. Lift weights
“If you just do cardio, you’re sabotaging yourself,” says Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “Your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” That explains why, in one Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults, those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).

2. Listen to music
Everyone knows that your favorite tunes can fire you up for a workout, but in one Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology of 30 men and women, people who listened to music (especially slow music) after their workout recovered faster than did those who went sans tunes. “Music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, hormones that are known to foster recovery,” says Perkins . Try listening to a few of your favorite, most relaxing tracks as soon as you finish your workout. It will help your blood pressure and heart rate get back to normal and recovery happen ASAP.

3. Swap stretching for a dynamic warmup
Don’t stretch in vain. In one Austin State University study, people who warmed up with light leg extensions and squats were able to squat with 8.36% more weight during their workout than if they had performed typical “bend and hold” stretches. Their lower bodies were also 22.7% more stable. “Think of a rubber band,” says Wilson. “If you stretch it around a lot and then pull it back to shoot it, it’s not going to go as far. The same thing happens with your muscles and tendons.” However, dynamic bodyweight moves—ones that mimic the workout you’re about to perform—increase blood flow and improve your range of motion without compromising your muscles’ and tendons’ elastic properties. So for instance, if you’re about to go for a run, it’s a good idea to move through about five to 10 minutes of lunges, knee raises and leg swings before hitting the treadmill.

4. Preface your workout with carbs
You might think of carbo-loading as something you do to run a better marathon. But eating carbs before your workout can also help you during those intervals, according to 2013 research published in Sports Medicine. “Carbs are your body’s primary fuel for any high-intensity workout, and when your body is fueled, your body is going to put forth a better effort and get a better value, both in terms of caloric expenditure and muscle growth, than it would if you were in fasted state,” says Wilson. So even if you like your morning workouts, make sure to eat some toast or oatmeal before you head out of the door.

5. Do intervals
Minute per minute, high-intensity intervals—periods of all-out effort interspersed with short, low-intensity “breaks”—come with more cardiovascular and fat-loss benefits than any other workout, says Wall. For instance, in one study from Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, people who performed a 20-minute interval workout with exercises including pushups, burpees, squats and lunges burned an average of 15 calories per minute—nearly twice as many as during long runs. To burn similar calories, follow the workout’s protocol: Perform as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes. Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of four rounds.

6. Drink water
Losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids—some gym-goers sweat out 6 to 10%—can make your workout feel harder, reduce your exercise performance and reduce your body’s ability to recover after you leave the gym, according to a review from the University of North Carolina. Unfortunately, “we find that many people are dehydrated when they show up to the gym,” says Amanda Carlson-Phillips, M.S., R.D., vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. She recommends everyone drink ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight per day. To make sure you’re drinking enough water during your workout to replace any fluids you lose, weigh yourself both before and after a sweat session, says Carlson-Phillips. You shouldn’t be losing more than 2% of your bodyweight.

7. Use free weights
Weight machines are great for helping gym newbies learn correct form, but once you’ve got it down, it’s time to move to free weights. Exercises using free weights like dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells lead to greater hormonal responses compared to similar exercises performed on exercise machines, according to a 2014 Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research study. That’s largely because free-weight exercises tap a wider range of muscles. “Whenever you have to move a free weight and you don’t have anything guiding or supporting you like a machine, all of your synergistic muscles have to fire to help you,” says Holly Perkins, certified strength and conditioning specialist, author of Lift to Get Lean and founder of Women’s Strength Nation.

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